The Philadelphia Phillies have a depth issue, and that was on full display on Sunday when the team had no healthy bench players at the onset of the eventual 10-8 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays in Dunedin, Florida.
President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski reportedly is wasting no time to add big-league-ready bench depth. According to ESPN’s Enrique Rojas, the Phillies are nearing a deal with four-year veteran outfielder Jorge Bonifacio. It is not clear whether the deal would be a minor- or major-league pact.
The Phillies are reportedly close to adding MLB-ready outfield depth.
Bonifacio, 27, debuted four years ago with the Kansas City Royals. Spanning 113 games and 422 plate appearances as a rookie, playing mostly right field, the Dominican Republic native slashed .255/.320/432 with 15 doubles, 17 home runs, and 40 RBI.
The following spring training, however, Bonifacio was suspended 80 games by Major League Baseball for testing positive for Boldenone, a performance-enhancing drug. Reinstated in late June, he finished the year slashing .225/.312/.360 with 16 doubles, four home runs, and 23 RBI in 69 games and 270 plate appearances.
Bonifacio only saw five games and 21 plate appearances during the 2019 season, in which he slugged three doubles and three RBI, before he was designated for assignment and released that November.
One of Dombrowski’s former organizations, the Detroit Tigers, signed the right-handed hitter to a minor-league deal a month later, before finally purchasing his contract last August. In 30 games and 94 plate appearances for the Tigers, Bonifacio slashed .221/.277/.326 with three dobules, two home runs, and 17 RBI.
No MLB team gave Bonifacio a third chance until the Phillies seem to currently be doing now. Just last month, he joined the spring roster for the Mexican League’s Guadalajara Mariachis.
A career .244/.314/.398 hitter with 37 doubles, 23 home runs, and 83 RBI in 217 games, it is not a bad idea for the Phillies to take a flier on Bonifacio — someone who has plenty of experience playing the corner outfield positions.