Emilio Bonifacio was available to the Cubs on a minor-league deal after being released by the Royals in February and now five months later they’re going to get something in return for the 29-year-old speedster.
Patrick Mooney of CSNChicago.com reports that “all indications are the Cubs will trade Bonifacio” before this afternoon’s deadline and lists potential suitors as the Giants, Mariners, Reds, Orioles, and Royals (yes, the same Royals who released him in February).
As an impending free agent Bonifacio isn’t in the Cubs’ long-term plans and his defensive versatility and speed make him an attractive bench option for contenders. He’s not much of a hitter, though, batting .279 with a .692 OPS in 69 games this season and .264 with a .667 OPS for his career.
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Japanese League commissioner Atsushi Saito announced that Japan’s professional baseball season will open on June 19. Teams can being practice games on June 2. There will be no fans. Indeed, the league has not yet even begun to seriously discuss a plan for fans to begin attending games, though that may happen eventually.
The season will begin three months after its originally scheduled opening day of March 20. It will be 120 games long. Teams in each six-team league — the Central League and Pacific League — will play 24 games against each league opponent. There will be no interleague play and no all-star game.
The announcement came in the wake of a national state of emergency being lifted for both Tokyo and the island of Hokkaido. The rest of the country emerged from the state of emergency earlier this month. This will allow the Japanese leagues to follow leagues in South Korea and Taiwan which have been playing for several weeks.
In the United States, Major League Baseball is hoping to resume spring training in mid June before launching a shortened regular season in early July. That plan is contingent on the league and the players’ union coming to an agreement on both financial arrangements and safety protocols for a 2020 season. Negotiations on both are ongoing. Major League Baseball will, reportedly, make a formal proposal about player compensation tomorrow.