Kansas City has released Emilio Bonifacio after the utility man and his $3.5 million contract predictably passed through waivers. Because his one-year deal was an arbitration avoidance it’s not fully guaranteed, so by releasing him the Royals are only on the hook for around $575,000. Or maybe “only” is a better way to put it.
Either way, Kansas City basically flushed $575,000 down the drain between the time they signed Bonifacio two weeks ago and now. And he’s free to sign with any team for any amount he can get, like a normal free agent.
Kansas City’s budget changed when Bruce Chen agreed to re-sign and it’s hard to imagine Bonifacio finding another gig this late for near $3.5 million after he hit just .243 with three homers and a .625 OPS in 136 games last season.
CHICAGO — The Chicago White Sox bolstered their rotation, agreeing to a one-year contract with right-hander Mike Clevinger, a person familiar with the agreement told The Associated Press.
The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal was subject to a successful physical.
The 31-year-old Clevinger went 7-7 with a 4.33 ERA in 23 games, including 22 starts, for San Diego this year. He missed the 2021 season after he had Tommy John surgery.
Chicago is looking to bounce back from a disappointing 2022 season, when it went 81-81 and finished 11 games back of surprising AL Central champion Cleveland. Hall of Fame manager Tony La Russa stepped down in October and Pedro Grifol was hired on Nov. 1.
The White Sox got a big lift from Johnny Cueto this year, but the 36-year-old right-hander is a free agent after going 8-10 with a 3.35 ERA in 25 appearances. Clevinger slots into a rotation that likely will include Dylan Cease, Lance Lynn, Lucas Giolito and Michael Kopech.
The move puts the 6-foot-4 Clevinger back in the AL Central after he made his major league debut with Cleveland in 2016. He went 42-22 with a 3.20 ERA in four-plus seasons with Cleveland before he was traded to San Diego in a multiplayer deal in August 2020.
Clevinger was selected by the Los Angeles Angels in the fourth round of the 2011 amateur draft. He was traded to Cleveland in 2014.
Clevinger is 51-30 with a 3.39 ERA in 128 career big league games. He also has 694 strikeouts in 656 2/3 innings.