Free Agency Ideas…Getting Better with Age?

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Not a major splash – but the Padres could fill some gaps with

Emilio Bonifacio

. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

Emilio Bonifacio

So we’ve covered two BIG possible signings, but the reality of the Padres situation is that they likely won’t come close to either one. So an intriguing “realistic” look would be signing utility man Emilio Bonifacio.

He’s not one of the marquee players mentioned above, but might just be a valuable in-between player from now until more prospects are ready to go. Mallex Smith tore up the minor leagues this year and could be here by 2016. Hunter Renfroe has shown great progress and could be here sooner than later. Yet in the meantime, the Padres are stuck with guys like Will Venable, Cameron Maybin, and Carlos Quentin who seem to be stuck somewhere between cruise control and neutral. So what do you do? They’ve got Seth Smith signed to take up some time and he had a nice season in 2014.

Rymer Liriano was given a cameo the last couple of months with mixed results. Bonifacio could also provide some stability in the left side of the infield. We don’t know exactly what we have with Everth Cabrera – if he will play or disqualify himself due to his legal issues before spring training even starts. Amarista could plug that hole fine, or Solarte could take short and Bonifacio could cover third base. In fact in general Bonifacio has a lot of similar attributes as Amarista he’s just better at it. He only hit .260 last year between Atlanta and Chicago, but he did steal 26 stolen bases after 28 in 2013 and 40 in 2011. Speed is always good.

The world watched this year as the speed-driven Royals ran and hit all the way into the World Series before falling in seven games. Their GM Dayton Moore set out to build a team based on speed and defense 8 years ago, and this year watched his dream come to fruition coming within one game of being world champions. Bonifacio is NOT the answer – but would be a nice fit in the puzzle until more pieces are firmly in place at the major league level.