MLB Trade Rumors: Toronto Blue Jays Should Not Trade Emilio Bonifacio
With an offseason that has already rocketed the Toronto Blue Jays to the top of the baseball world, would anyone really be surprised if general manager Alex Anthopoulos was to pull off another move?
According to Dave O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal Constitution, the Atlanta Braves are interested in recently-acquired Blue Jays second baseman/outfielder Emilio Bonifacio:
#Braves are still involved in multiple trade talks, two of their targets believed to be Bonifacio and Fowler— David O'Brien (@ajcbraves) December 12, 2012
While this news broke before the acquisition of Cy Young winner R.A. Dickey, that trade should not really impact the moving of Bonifacio is both the Braves and Jays are still interested in striking a deal.
But would moving the 27-year-old speedster be the right move for Toronto?
Despite the fact that some believe he is only a bench player, with Maicer Izturis being the lead candidate to start at second base, I am not so sure.
In fact, other than his injury-plagued 2012 season, Bonifacio had been a player improving year-to-year in south Florida.
Who should start at 2B for the Jays in 2013?
From 2007, when he made his debut with the Arizona Diamondbacks, right up to 2011, Bonifacio had never seen his batting average decrease.
In 2011, the native of the Dominican Republic hit .293, with an OBP of .360, and proceeded to swipe 40 bases.
While he may not hit for power, plugging him into the two-hole behind Jose Reyes could give opposing pitchers major headaches.
In 2012, Bonifacio actually stole 30 bases in just 64 games, a stat, that extrapolated over 162 games, would come out to a mind-blowing 76 stolen bases.
What's even more impressive is that Bonifacio was only caught three times.
Yet because of his season-ending injury and his lack-luster performance in 2012, many Jays fans seem ambivalent towards his arrival.
Make no mistake, Emilio Bonifacio is a very talented player who had one down year. All other evidence over the course of his five full seasons (from 2008 to 2012) points to him being a player who is still getting better and just hitting his prime.
Considering him an expendable piece for the Toronto Blue Jays would be a big mistake.
At the very least, he's a better player than Maicer Izturis, who has not done anything that has stood out over the last three years.
Since it was reported that the Braves have interest in Bonifacio, nothing has come to fruition. Jays fans should hope it stays that way.
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