According to a report by Jon Paul Morosi, the Phillies inked the 29-year-old knuckleballer to a contract. While details have yet to be unearthed, I can only guess that it’s a minor league deal. The Tigers removed Bonine from their 40-man roster after the season and Bonine elected free agency.
With a follow-up, Jason Beck tweeted that the Tigers “made last-minute push to bring back Bonine on minor-league deal, but Phillies came in with better offer.” I can only be grateful that Ruben Amaro Jr. is apparently dumber than Dave Dombrowski.
I’m going to file this one under addition by subtraction as far as the Tigers and their quest to upgrade the bullpen for next year. Bonine was a nice story, but at some point you have to be able to consistently get hitters out and keep inherited runners from scoring. He struggled to do either during the 2010 season.
Bonine wrapped up his Tigers career with 62 appearances (16 starts) over three seasons. He posted a 7-3 record, 4.74 ERA and 1.543 WHIP. His strikeout-to-walk ratio dropped in each of his three seasons, resting at a dismal 1.18-to-1 in 2010. Both Fangraphs and Baseball-Reference figured his WAR at -0.1 this year.
That said, I certainly wish no ill will toward Bonine as he tries to carve out a career. My only wish was that it would have been the Twins or White Sox that would have signed him. Oh well…