The Kansas City Royals have requested unconditional release waivers on Emilio Bonifacio after designating him for assignment ten days ago, according to a baseball source. Teams will now have 48 hours to claim Bonifacio, and will do so if they are willing to take on his entire $3.5M salary for next season. The waiver order is determined by last season's reverse standings, so the Astros will have the first crack at claiming Bonifacio, followed by the Marlins, White Sox, Cubs, Twins, Mariners, Phillies, Rockies, Blue Jays, and so on.
If Bonifacio clears release waivers in two days, he will become a free agent who is able to sign with any team. He seemed to draw strong trade interest, but sources indicate that the Royals had a high asking price for him in trade talks, causing them ultimately to be unable to deal him by today's 2 PM deadline.
Bonifacio is already drawing interest from teams who are looking to claim him on waivers, according to a league source, and the Orioles are likely among them. As Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun reported last week, Baltimore has some interest in adding Bonifacio for depth purposes. Sources indicate that as many as ten teams could have interest in the 28-year old.