Last week, the Kansas City Royals designated Emilio Bonifacio for assignment to make room on the roster for the recently signed veteran, Bruce Chen. By designating Bonifacio for assignment, they are able to trade him, and avoid paying him the $3.5 million that they agreed to pay him just two weeks ago.
This may be a sign that the Royals and Dayton Moore have maxed out on their payroll at $89 million this year.
Regardless of what it means, it left the Royals at a bad spot for their bench depth. No Bonifacio means no true back-up players for the middle of the infield.
Assuming that the Royals take the 7-man bullpen approach (which I have often thought they could get away with six, but that’s a different topic), that leaves room for four bench players. One of those is reserved for a back-up to Salvador Perez; Brett Hayes seems to be the leading candidate for that job.
Danny Valencia also seems like a sure-fire bet to make the squad, backing up Mike Moustakas. That leaves two spots open, and it seems as if Jarrod Dyson and Justin Maxwell have already won those jobs.
This arrangement will work as long as Royals’ middle infield stays healthy. With Bonifacio gone, the Royals are missing depth in the middle of the infield. Danny Valencia, although listed as a second baseman on ESPN.com, does not have much experience as a second baseman. He may need to spell Infante at second base a couple of times over the course of the season for this bench arrangement to workout.