The other day, news came out that Theo Epstein expected to make a trade within the next 48 hours
— JIM BOWDEN (@JimBowdenESPNxm) July 29, 2014
Jed Hoyer followed that up by saying he expected the team to be very active.
Hoyer on trade deadline: “I expect to be active. We’re having a lot of conversations.” — Jesse Rogers (@ESPNChiCubs) July 29, 2014
We all knew that the Chicago Cubs were going to start trading off pieces and that fans should be on constant hug watch over the next few days, now down to less than 12 hours because there would be more movement. Epstein and Hoyer just confirmed what we already knew. Well, yesterday they lived up to everything they had been saying as they completed their trade of Darwin Barney to the Los Angeles Dodgers as they sent their player to be named later to the Cubs, then turned around and completed a trade with the Boston Red Sox.
This is where things started getting interesting as there was a flood of information that the Cubs were getting close to dealing Emilio Bonifacio with as many as five teams interested in his services.
Emilio Bonifacio derby heating up . At least 5 clubs on the Cub super utility man . See blog @670TheScore
— Bruce Levine (@MLBBruceLevine) July 30, 2014
Bruce Levine named four of the five teams
Teams closing in on Bonifacio are Kansas City San Francisco , Baltimore and Seattle . — Bruce Levine (@MLBBruceLevine) July 30, 2014
before revealing who the fifth team was
Reds concerns with Phillips health and offensive struggles have them in on Bonifacio .
— Bruce Levine (@MLBBruceLevine) July 30, 2014
Other teams who were following the Cubs also might be in the running for his services though
Giants, mariners, dodgers, blue jays and Mets among teams who have followed Cubs in recent days. Boni has been on SF’s long list for awhile — Mark Gonzales (@MDGonzales) July 30, 2014
Reports came out earlier through sources that Bonifacio would be out of the lineup last night, hours before a lineup was even announced.
Bonifacio not in Cub lineup tonight . Baltimore -Giants -Reds mentioned by source. Moments ago — Bruce Levine (@MLBBruceLevine) July 30, 2014
You could easily assume that a deal was close with one of the teams. The only question was where he would be traded to, and what the return would be. With all the teams that have been connected to the Cubs, reports have been that the asking price for Bonifacio was high.
Speculation of this being the case was made almost a certainty when sourced stated that he was told to expect a trade today
Source says Bonifacio has been told to prepare to be dealt today. But doesn’t know where yet. Meanwhile Alcantara leading off. — Gordon Wittenmyer (@GDubCub) July 30, 2014
Apparently a trade was not as close as expected, as of this morning he is still a member of the Cubs.
While I am sure there are many Cub fans who will be upset that Bonifacio is about to be traded because he was one of the team’s better players, they should have expected this. They should have seen the writing on the wall when he was signed in the off season. His signing had the same flavor of Paul Maholm, Scott Feldman and Jason Hammel. They went into the bargain bin to see if they could find a player on the cheap who had the talent to rebound and build enough value to get a good return on their investment. Bonifacio fit what they were looking for perfectly, and like the aforementioned pitchers gave the Cubs a great gift by performing far better than they probably expected. I can still remember how a good percentage of fans went crazy when he was signed, just like with Maholm, Feldman and to a lesser extent Hammel; then they changed their minds once he started playing as well as he did. Now, a good percentage of fans were hoping the Cubs would keep him around a while longer. I will not lie, I was hoping the Cubs would decide he was valuable enough to sign to a short extension, but I cannot say that I am upset that he was traded.
With the trade on Bonifacio on the horizon, most Cub fans will probably start expecting Javier Baez to be called up relatively soon to take his place on the roster. That would make sense, and might happen sooner rather than later. For those Cub fans who have been waiting to see Baez get called up this season, this is a move that had to be made in order for him to make the Major League roster, as he was blocked by Bonifacio and Arismendy Alcantara. Every night one of them would likely be playing second base with the other in center field. He will not be playing short stop, as much as some might want to see him there, because that belongs to Starlin Castro.
I am sure most fans will miss seeing Bonifacio in the lineup, but for all intents and purposes he was not going to be around when the Cubs were ready to start their climb to the top. With kids like Baez, Kris Bryant and Jorge Soler all coming up they could have used Bonifacio to help guide them as they grow into being Major Leaguers, I think Epsein and Hoyer might have confidence that Anthony Rizzo and Castro can be those mentors these young kids need. Then again, perhaps Manny Ramirez might come up and be a part of Rick Renteria‘s coaching staff after all.
I am sure all Cub fans will wish nothing but the best for Bonifacio when we is traded in the next few hours and the team he is traded to as they make their push for the playoffs. With all the teams in the playoff hunt who have traded for members of the 2014 team, some Cub fans might have a hard time figuring out who to root for.