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Braves announce one-year deal with Bonifacio

ATLANTA -- Hoping Emilio Bonifacio's second tenure in Atlanta proves to be more memorable than the first, the Braves announced Friday afternoon that they have signed the versatile utility man to a one-year deal. The agreement between the two parties was reported during last week's Winter Meetings.

Bonifacio will receive a $1.25 million salary as he attempts to bounce back from the disappointment he experienced this past season with the White Sox. The Braves created a spot on the 40-man roster by designating right-handed reliever Brandon Cunniff for assignment.

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While the switch-hitting Bonifacio brings some value via his ability to provide depth in the infield and outfield, this appears to be the latest low-risk gamble taken by the Braves, who gave a nearly identical deal to backup infielder Gordon Beckham two weeks ago.

Like Beckham, Bonifacio is looking to bounce back from a rough 2015, in which he batted just .167 with a .198 on-base percentage while compiling only 82 plate appearances before being released in August.

It's safe to say Bonifacio did not live up to the expectations that were set when he signed a one-year, $4 million deal with the White Sox last offseason. In fact, he has struggled since the Braves acquired him at the 2014 Trade Deadline, after which he hit .212 with a .553 OPS and 12 stolen bases over 41 games.

Despite his recent struggles, Bonifacio has maintained an upbeat personality that has long made him a favorite among teammates. He played for Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez during that previous short stint in Atlanta and also with the Marlins in 2009-10.

Bonifacio's offensive struggles this past season limited him to just one stolen base. But he swiped at least 26 bags on an annual basis from 2011-14.

While Beckham serves as the better defensive option across the infield, Bonifacio's value is enhanced by his ability to play any of the outfield positions.

Mark Bowman is a reporter for
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