CHICAGO -- Chicago Cubs infielder/outfielder Emilio Bonifacio entered the team's clubhouse Thursday morning wearing a suit and carrying luggage. One way or another he's leaving town after the day's game against the Colorado Rockies.
The Cubs are headed west for a road trip that begins Friday in Los Angeles against the Dodgers but will Bonifacio be on the team plane or is he flying commercial to a new employer?
"I still don't know," Bonifacio said as he headed to the batting cages.
Manager Rick Renteria has an idea considering he's held Bonifacio out of the lineup both on Wednesday night and Thursday afternoon for the series finale against the Colorado Rockies.
"He's doing the best that he can under the circumstances," Renteria said Thursday morning. "There might be some things shaking out. We'll continue to see how it develops."
At this point it would be a surprise if Bonifacio isn't moved, but the Cubs aren't likely to get a top prospect for the 29-year-old. However, with four or five teams interested, a source familiar with the situation says the Cubs could pry a better player the longer they wait.
Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer will address reporters after the non-waiver deadline passes at 3 p.m. CT.
Reliever James Russell could be on the move as well. The Atlanta Braves have been hot on the trail for a left-hander and have scouted Russell extensively. He pitched two scoreless innings in Tuesday's 16-inning victory over the Rockies, but he's had an inconsistent season with a 3.51 ERA over 33 innings. The Cubs have tried to limit his appearances this season by adding a second lefty in the bullpen in Wesley Wright, who could also be on the move.
"I haven't been following it," Russell said.
Wright added: "I've heard nothing. I've been through this before so I'm ready."
These aren't headline-making deals the Cubs are discussing with other teams. They already did one of those when Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel were traded to the Oakland Athletics early this month. And though Bonifacio's situation is no secret there is always a trade or two that no one sees coming.
Other possible candidates for a deal include Luis Valbuena, Justin Ruggiano, Chris Coghlan and Carlos Villanueva. But without a lot coming back, Hoyer indicated a few of those names could stick around to help next year considering they are under team control and come at the right price.
For now, "Bonifacio Watch" is real while Russell and Wright are the secondary candidates to be moved. At least two of those three should be gone by the deadline.