Emilio Bonifacio reuniting with the Blue Jays? Might just be crazy enough to work

Oh the memories. The ground balls through the wickets. Botched double plays. Misread attempts. Poor throws.

And the hitting, my god the hitting. A .579 OPS, including a .258 on base percentage. His wRC+ while a member of the Blue Jays was a hilariously bad 54. Remember, wRC+ compares a hitter to the league average, with 100 being exactly average. So, at 54, or nearly half league average, I’m pretty sure that means Yunel Escobar could have swung that bat with one arm and done as well as old Boneface.

Early season 2013 was a dark time, and the black hole that was Emilio Bonifacio at second base is among the darkest.

So when we hear things like below, we should cringe, cry and roll up into the fetal position, right?

Aaaahhhhhhhhhh! WTF EHRMIGOD?!11!/?1/1?!?!!!!///?

It might just be crazy enough to work.

Now I’m not suggesting he’s a boni-fide (see what I did there?) solution to any of what ails the Jays, but he certainly could be part of a solution. Consider what GM Alex Anthopoulos’ modus operandi has been thus far in the offseason: raising the floor and creating flexibility. Justin Smoak, Devon Travis (who by the way I’m starting to like more and more), and Adam Lind for Marco Estrada have all been moves to raise the floor of the organization and increase flexibility.

And what better way to keep that going than acquiring a guy who can play horribly at just about every position on the field!

Well, hear me out here.

It’s true, his time with the Jays was bad. And overall, his bat just hasn’t been that good. However, it’s not as bad as many think.

For starters, Boneface actually sports a decent 97 wRC+ and .320 wOBA, powered largely by his respectable .340 OBP vs lefties over his career. That includes ridiculous numbers in 2014 in the split: 170 wRC+, .420 (“haha, FOUR TWENTY!” said in the voice of a dumb teenager) wOBA, and .959 OPS, in an admittedly small sample size.

On the other side of the field, he’s not as bad as we all remember. At least according to the metrics. Both UZR and DRS consider him average in the outfield, overall, and both quite liked his work out there in 2014. Is it possible his bouncing around and being DedFA in 2013 sparked a new attitude or focus in the field? Maybe. Is it possible we’re remembering Bonifacio with shit-coloured glasses (or whatever the opposite of rose-coloured glasses is)? Probably.

There’s no shortage of lightning rods for the 2013 season. From Josh Johnson to Brandon Morrow. Bonifacio to even Jose Bautista (remember all the “not a leader” morons?). I’d say it’s a very good possibility that the disaster around Bonifacio during his time with the Jays is clouding what we think of the player. The fact he went onto the Royals and almost immediately went back to being the decent player and good utility guy we thought the Jays were getting only fuels that dislike, I think.

But it shouldn’t. It should remind us that he is what he is. A no-power speed guy, who can play passable defence around the field.Over his career both UZR and DRS don’t mind him at second base (note: really!) and he ranges from passable to good in all outfield positions.

Bonifacio isn’t a solution. But he could be part of the solution of raising the floor. He could slide nicely in as a replacement for Anthony Gose and provide insurance in case Dalton Pompey isn’t quite ready for prime time yet.

And if Pompey is the solution, Bonifacio provides speed off the bench, a decent bench bat against lefties, and a player who can play multiple positions if John Gibbons has to juggle things late in a game.

Yup. Just might be crazy enough to work

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