Bonifacio to join Cubs in Spring Training

Bonifacio to join Cubs in Spring Training

MESA, Ariz. -- The Cubs signed Emilio Bonifacio to a contract on Saturday, and manager Rick Renteria says the versatile player seems like a perfect fit for the National League.

Bonifacio, 28, split last season between the Blue Jays and Royals, batting .243 for the season. He batted .285 with Kansas City. A switch-hitter, he has played for the D-backs, Nationals and Marlins as well, compiling a career .262 average.

"He's added depth -- he can play second, short, third, the outfield," Renteria said. "He's a versatile individual who has played in the big leagues. He gives us an opportunity from many different positions. It gives us depth."

Bonifacio began last season as the Blue Jays' Opening Day second baseman but switched to the outfield to create an opening for Maicer Izturis, and ended up playing seven positions. Last Aug. 14, he was dealt to the Royals, the fourth time he's been traded. On Feb. 1, he was designated for assignment to open a roster spot for the Royals, then was released on Wednesday.

He would bring some speed to the Cubs. Bonifacio swiped 40 bases in 2011, 30 in 2012, and 28 last season combined.

"It's all relative -- many components of the running game have a lot to do with the ability to be a good baserunner beyond just foot speed," Renteria said. "There have been a lot of really good baserunners who weren't exceptionally fast and were able to take 15 to 20 bags a year. But yes, he does bring some speed to the table."

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.