Rick Hahn has continued plugging holes in the White Sox roster today by signing utility guy Emilio Bonifacio. Pending a physical, he has signed with the Sox for one year / $3 million with a club option for a second year.
Even though it seems like Bonifacio has been around for a long time, he will be turning 30 in late April. He has been in the majors since 2002. He has started at second base, shortstop, and third base. He's also played across the whole outfield. This gives the Sox a lot of options on how to use him.
First, although he's a switch hitter, he is much better against lefties than righties (.291/.341/.380 against LHP vs. .250/.311/.326 against RHP). This would allow him to be the right handed platoon for Gillaspie the Sox have been looking for. He's been double-digits in stolen bases since 2009, including 24 last season, so he can be the pitch runner off the bench that Robin likes. He's a cheap insurance policy at second base if Carlos Sanchez or Micah Johnson fail to hold down the position. Finally, his flexibility really opens up the bench battle for spring training. His solid hold on the 10th position player spot as an infielder and outfielder means that the remaining spots are much more open for competition than they've been in the past.
The White Sox roster was at 40 before this signing, so a corresponding move will need to be made to allow the signing to become official.
Update: Corrected salary and information on the club option.
Emilio Bonifacio deal with White Sox will pay him $3 million in 2015 with either a $1 million buyout or a $4 million club option for 2016.— Colleen Kane (@ChiTribKane) January 5, 2015