According to multiple reports, former Detroit Tigers pitcher Jeremy Bonderman has signed a minor league deal with the Seattle Mariners. Bonderman, who has been out of baseball for more than two years, received a surprising number of offers this off-season — including one from his former team. All he was asking for was a minor league deal with a spring training invitation, so an offer would come with little risk on the side of the team.
I had thought that Detroit would be his top choice — give the mutual familiarity — but it makes sense that he ended up choosing the team from his home state. Bonderman, in my opinion, is unlikely to make much of a comeback, so picking the organization with the in-state Major League and AAA clubs is understandable. And now that the Tigers have six starting pitchers and a full bullpen, he probably decided that he had a better chance of cracking a roster if he looked elsewhere anyway.
I find myself more disappointed in his decision that I would have thought. It’s as though he’s a huge prize, but he possibly could have provided the Tigers with some starting pitching depth — in an extreme emergency sense — and probably could have made a push for a bullpen spot. Of course, any sort of major league value is predicated on his arm returning somewhat to it’s previous strength. Not a given.