Word first was reported a few weeks ago that 30 year old right-handed pitcher Jeremy Bonderman was attempting to make a comeback, having not thrown a pitch in the Major (or Minor) Leagues since during the 2010 season. Speculation rapidly began suggesting that a deal could work with Bonderman’s former team, the Detroit Tigers, but as expected such ideas were flatly shot down by team officials. However, it would seem as though Bonderman believes a contract could be finalized by the the end of the coming weekend, according to FOX Sports’ Jon Paul Morosi.
Drafted in the 1st Round in 2001 by the Oakland Athletics, Bonderman was acquired by the Tigers roughly a year later as part of a three-team deal that ultimately landed Jeff Weaver with the New York Yankees.
Bonderman had an eight year career with the Tigers, spanning from 2003 through the 2010 season. He’d finish 67-77 over that stretch, adding a 4.89 ERA and 1.402 WHIP in 1,176.0 innings of work (207 games, 193 starts). His best season was likely his 2006 campaign, a season in which he finished 14-8 with a 4.08 ERA in 214.0 innings, adding a career high 8.5 K/9. Injuries hampered him towards the end of his career, with a blood cot costing him nearly the entire 2008 season and shoulder pain cutting short his 2009. He briefly talked about making a comeback attempt a year ago, but would up needing to undergo Tommy John surgery which would cost him the entire 2012 season as well.
While the possibility of a Major League deal could exist, it seems unlikely that any team would go as far as giving one to Bonderman considering he’s now missed two full seasons. A minor league deal loaded with incentives appears to be the more likely way for potentially interested teams to go, though it seems certain that he’ll receive an invitation to Spring Training either way.