Six weeks ago it looked to be a done deal. Jeremy Bonderman would bring the slider known as Mr. Snappy back to Lakeland in an attempt to return to the major leagues as member of the Detroit Tigers. Bonderman is still attempting a comeback, but it won't be with the Tigers. He has come to terms with the Seattle Mariners, agreeing to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.
After sitting out a season to allow his injury wracked body to heal, the retired Bonderman has regained the itch to play baseball. Jon Paul Morosi of Fox Sports reported the Tigers had offered the Bonderman a contract and it was assumed he would accept.
Apparently, things have changed.
With Anibal Sanchez returning to the Tigers, the odds Bonderman could break into a six man deep starting rotation was damn near nil. Despite his history with the Tigers, Bonderman decided to sign with the Mariners, telling Mlive's Chris Iott, "It was just the best fit."
Bonderman is correct, this could be a good match between player and organization. The 30 year old right-hander is a Washington native, currently living three hours away from Seattle in Pasco. The Mariners need arms, having traded starting pitchers like there's a never ending supply, shipping out Erik Bedard, Michael Pineda, Jason Vargas and of course, Doug Fister over the past two seasons. So they have ample reason to take a flyer on a now healthy and 30 pounds lighter Bonderman.
Bonderman had a career best year in the Tigers' World Series season of 2006, 14-8 with a 4.08 ERA in a league leading 34 starts. He was 1-0, 3.10 in three post season appearances. The victory was a memorable 8-3 ALDS clincher against the New York Yankees, Bonderman pitching 8 1/3 innings, allowing only five hits and two runs.
Bonderman looked to have taken the next step toward realizing his immense potential in the first half of 2007, posting a 9-1 record with a 3.48 ERA.
Then injuries kicked in, derailing his promising career.
Bonderman ultimately pitched eight seasons with the Tigers, posting a 67-77 record and 4.89 ERA in 207 games.