The Royals have signed outfielder Jorge Bonifacio, a fact fans noticed at this week’s games and confirmed by MLB.com reporter Anne Rogers.
Bonifacio was originally signed by the Royals out of the Dominican Republic and played for them from 2017 to 2019. He showed some promise in his rookie campaign, hitting .255/.320/.432 with 17 home runs in 113 games, but he was suspended 80 games the next season for performance enhancing drugs. His power numbers fell the next season with just four home runs in 69 games. The Royals released him after the 2019 season and he signed out for one year with the Tigers, before spending the next two with the Phillies. He last played in the big leagues in 2021 with Philadelphia, appearing in just seven games. He spent all of last year in Triple-A, hitting .240/.336/.407 with15 home runs in 112 games.
The Royals have gotten thin in outfield depth with injuries to Drew Waters, Brewer Hicklen, and Diego Hernandez, so signing Bonifacio makes some sense. The Royals brought in free agent Jackie Bradley Jr. last week. Bonifacio will likely spend time in Triple-A to fill out the outfield for Omaha. The 29-year-old may still have some potential as a reserve outfielder and right-handed bat with some pop, but he was always defensively limited and his overall offensive numbers were below-average.