Blue Jays trade Emilio Bonifacio to Royals

The Toronto Blue Jays traded utility man Emilio Bonifacio to the Kansas City Royals on Wednesday for a player to be named later or cash.

Utility man batting .218

Emilio Bonifacio posted a .258 on-base percentage in 94 games with Toronto. (Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)

The Toronto Blue Jays traded Emilio Bonifacio to the Kansas City Royals on Wednesday for a player to be named later or cash.

The 28-year-old utility man batted a disappointing .218 with a .258 on-base percentage, three home runs and 12 stolen bases in 94 games with the Blue Jays, splitting his time between the infield and outfield.

"I think we expected him to be a better player, a better player overall," said Toronto general manager Alex Anthopoulos on Wednesday. "I think there's no doubt about that, we thought we'd get more out of him offensively, defensively, all of it.

"That didn't happen. I don't want to diminish his talent or take away his work ethic."

In 560 major league games, Bonifacio owns a .261 batting average with a .310 OBP and 122 steals.

More changes could be in store soon for the last-place Blue Jays, who are 17 games back of the American League East-leading Red Sox. They had originally acquired Bonifacio in the November 2012 trade with the Miami Marlins that included shortstop Jose Reyes, pitchers Mark Buehrle and Josh Johnson and catcher John Buck.

Anthopoulos defended the reasoning behind the deal with the Marlins on Wednesday, saying that he felt the logic behind the trade was still solid.

"Clearly they haven't played and performed the way we expected them to when we acquired them, there's no doubt about that at all," said Anthopoulos. "But the process when you go into these things you know there's no guarantees of performance.

"Sometimes you have guys that perform a lot better than you thought they could both internally and externally."

Bonifacio is on a one-year, $2.6-million US contract and is eligible for salary arbitration after this season. He was not moved prior to Major League Baseball's July 31 non-waiver trade deadline, meaning he had to clear waivers before being sent to Kansas City.

The Royals are 6 ½ games out of first place in the AL Central and four games back of the second wild-card spot.

The deadline for teams to add players eligible for post-season play is Aug. 31.

Rasmus placed on DL

The Blue Jays announced more roster moves on Wednesday, placing outfielder Colby Rasmus on the 15-day disabled list with a strained oblique and calling up veteran shortstop Munenori Kawasaki and outfield prospect Kevin Pillar from triple-A Buffalo.

Pillar, 24, has never appeared in a major league game. He batted a combined .307 with a .353 OBP, 54 extra-base hits and 23 stolen bases in 123 games for Buffalo and double-A New Hampshire this season.

Kawasaki (.319 OBP) returns for his third stint of the year with the Blue Jays.

With files from The Canadian Press