Cubs working to trade Emilio Bonifacio

Cubs working to trade Emilio Bonifacio
July 31, 2014, 12:00 am
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Welcome to Emilio Bonifacio Watch. 

It doesn’t have any no-trade clause drama, and it won’t generate the same buzz as the big-name pitchers on the market. But there’s such an appetite for any scrap of information in the age of Twitter and MLBTradeRumors.com that “Bonnie” became a thing. 

All indications are the Cubs will trade Bonifacio, the super-utility guy they signed in spring training after the Royals released him. It’s just a matter of where before Thursday’s 3 p.m. non-waiver deadline.

San Francisco? Seattle? Cincinnati? Baltimore? Back to Kansas City? #MysteryTeam?

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Bonifacio doesn’t know yet, but he got a heads-up from his agent that something should happen soon. The Cubs got close enough to a deal that they held Bonifacio out of Wednesday’s 6-4, 10-inning loss to the Rockies at Wrigley Field.

Manager Rick Renteria — who doesn’t like to go out on a limb — put it this way during his pregame media session: “With all the stuff that’s going on, we just found it prudent to hold off and see how it shakes out.”

The Cubs (44-62) waited to post the lineup and announce the bullpen move — Chris Rusin for Blake Parker — after a 16-inning marathon on Tuesday night/Wednesday morning. 

The Cubs also didn’t make Jed Hoyer immediately available after the Felix Doubront trade with the Red Sox, figuring the GM would have to address reporters later in the night after closing the Bonifacio deal.  

“It’s not in my hands,” Bonifacio said. “I’m just coming to the field tomorrow and being a part of the Cubs. There’s nothing I can do about it. Just wait.”

So Bonifacio watched Travis Wood put up a career-high 11 strikeouts against four runs in six innings. He became a cheerleader in the eighth inning when Luis Valbuena crushed a two-out, two-run game-tying homer into the right-field seats. In the 10th, the Rockies (44-63) beat Wesley Wright, a lefty reliever whose name has been mentioned in trade speculation.

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There’s no reason for the Cubs to hang onto Bonifacio, who will become a free agent after this season and can fill several needs for multiple contending teams.     

“We don’t know where it’s at right now,” Renteria said. “We’ll deal with tomorrow, tomorrow.”

Bonifacio is hitting .400 with four doubles and a home run in eight games since coming off the disabled list. He can cause havoc as a switch-hitting leadoff guy who’s stolen 152 bases in his career. He can play all over the infield and the outfield and create a jolt of energy. This will be the chance to jump into a pennant race.

“You want to be a part of that,” Bonifacio said, “but right now you’re still a part of the Cubs.”