Blue Jays: Emilio Bonifacio, Maicer Izturis to battle it out for 2B

Marc Serota

The Blue Jays' starter at second base is 'up for grabs,' and the battle will pit Maicer Izturis against Emilio Bonifacio.

Entering spring training, Maicer Izturis was listed as the frontrunner for the Toronto Blue Jays' second base job. However, manager John Gibbons has said the position is now "up for grabs" with Izturis competing with fellow offseason acquisition Emilio Bonifacio, reports John Lott of The National Post.

While Gibbons said the Blue Jays will take the spring to see how the competition at second base plays out, he did acknowledge that Izturis "has probably got the edge" because he's viewed as more of a regular middle infielder. Izturis has started 384 games at shortstop and second base over nine seasons, while Bonifacio has registered 146 starts in six seasons.

The Blue Jays signed Izturis to a three-year, $10 million contract that includes an option for 2016 in early November. Less than two weeks later, Toronto acquired Bonifacio from the Miami Marlins during the great fire sale of 2012.

Had he known he was going to acquire Bonifacio from the Marlins, Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos said he might not have signed Izturis to a three-year contract. Regardless of who winds up as the starter at second, both players offer the club versatility.

Over nine seasons in the majors, Izturis, 32, owns a career batting line of .273/.337/.381. Bonifacio, 27, has hit .267/.329/.343 in six years in the bigs.

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