Is Bonifacio a fit for Orioles?

The Orioles maintain interest in veteran utility player Emilio Bonifacio, but not at his current price.

Bonifacio becomes a free agent at 2 p.m. Wednesday if he clears waivers, and teams seem reluctant to pick up his $3.5 million contract.

The Orioles won't touch it, according to sources, but he's long been a favorite of manager Buck Showalter and there's definite interest in him.

The Yankees are among the other teams with interest in Bonifacio, 28, a switch-hitter who batted a combined .243/.295/.331 in 136 games with the Blue Jays and Royals in 2013. He's put up a career .262/.322/.340 slash line in seven major league seasons with five clubs.

Bonifacio, who stole 70 bases in his final two seasons with the Marlins, plays second base, shortstop, third base and all three outfield positions. His value comes in his speed and versatility.

The Orioles signed Alexi Casilla to a minor league deal this winter, allowing him to compete for a utility job. Ryan Flaherty has the inside track on the second base job unless he's needed at third if Manny Machado goes on the disabled list following knee surgery in October.

Jemile Weeks will compete with Flaherty at second base if Machado is ready on opening day.

Bonifacio, meanwhile, would fit in a utility role or as the starting second baseman if the Orioles can sign him as a free agent.

The Orioles were intrigued by Bonifacio long before the Marlins shipped him to the Blue Jays as part of a package that included pitchers Mark Buehrle and Josh Johnson and shortstop Jose Reyes back in November, 2012. The Royals purchased his contract in August 2013.


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