Chicago Cubs trade Emilio Bonifacio, James Russell to Braves


The Chicago Cubs have traded utility man Emilio Bonifacio and reliever James Russell to the Atlanta Braves for their number seventh overall prospect switch-hitting third baseman and catcher Victor Caratini, reports MLB Network’s Peter Gammons.

Caratini, 20, was the Braves’ second-round pick in the 2013 MLB Entry Draft and has a career .283/.377/.415 slash line in 145 minor-league games.

Caratini has spent the 2014 season in Class-A and was hitting .279/.352/.406 with a .757 OPS, five home runs and 42 RBIs in 87 games.

Bonifacio signed with the Cubs in spring training after being released by the Kansas City Royals and served as the team’s leadoff hitter. He hit .279 average while stealing 14 bases and 35 runs. The 29-year-old utility player played at second base, third base, shortstop, and center field.

Russell posted a 3.42 ERA in 195 games out of the Cubs’ bullpen since 2012. He was 0-2 with a 3.51 ERA and a 1.20 WHIP in 44 games over 33 1/3 innings this season. The 28-year-old left-hander was selected in the 14th round of the 2007 MLB Draft.

The move leaves shortstop Starlin Castro has the last player from the Lou Pinella tenure.