Cubs sign Emilio Bonifacio

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Jesse Rogers of ESPN Chicago reports that the Cubs have signed infielder/outfielder Emilio Bonifacio to a minor league contract. This confirms a report from Ildefonso Urena on Twitter.

Bonifacio hit free agency earlier this week after he was designated for assignment by the Royals. He went unclaimed on waivers because of his $3.5 million salary, but he was expected to sign elsewhere quickly.

Bonifacio lands in a pretty good situation with Chicago, as they have questions in the outfield and at third base. It would be no surprise if the speedster ends up with significant playing time, at least initially.

Bonifacio turns 29 in May and hit .243/.295/.331 with three home runs, 31 RBI, and 28 stolen bases in 136 games last year between the Blue Jays and Royals.

2017 Preview: The American League East

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For the past few weeks we’ve been previewing the 2017 season. Here, in handy one-stop-shopping form, is our package of previews from the American League East

Boston may have the most talent and, in Mookie Betts, the best player. The Yankees have the best farm system. Baltimore has all the dingers and the best closer. Toronto may have the best collection of heels, at least in the view of fans of the other AL East teams.  The Rays have the best . . . hmm. I’ll get back to you on that.

Anyway, here are our previews for the American League East:

Boston Red Sox
Toronto Blue Jays
Baltimore Orioles
New York Yankees
Tampa Bay Rays

Steven Matz likely to start season on DL; Zack Wheeler to adhere to innings limit

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Mets manager Terry Collins said on Wednesday, “It’s unlikely that [Steven Matz] will start the season with us.” The final spot in the Mets’ starting rotation will go to either Zack Wheeler or Seth Lugo, Newsday’s Marc Carig reports.

On Wheeler’s innings limit, assistant GM John Ricco said, “There’s going to be some number but we don’t exactly know what that is.” Wheeler missed the last two seasons after undergoing Tommy John surgery.

Neither Wheeler nor Lugo have had terrific springs as each carries a 5.11 and 5.56 Grapefruit League ERA, respectively. However, Carig notes that Wheeler has impressed simply by appearing healthy and brandishing a fastball that once again sits in the mid- to high-90’s. Lugo, meanwhile, proved crucial to the Mets last year, posting a 2.67 ERA across eight starts and nine relief appearances.