The Indians are working to sign Jeremy Bonderman

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Just hours after Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski said his club was not re-signing Jeremy Bonderman, Jordan Bastian of reports that the Indians are currently working to sign him to a contract.

It’s not clear if this will be a major league deal, but Tom Gage of the Detroit News speculated earlier today that Dombrowski’s comments meant that the right-hander “is about to sign with another team and will get what he wants, a major-league contract.”

Bonderman, 28, has an ugly 5.91 ERA since the start of the 2007 season, including a 5.53 ERA over 171 innings in 2010. He has lost considerable velocity on his fastball since undergoing shoulder surgery in June of 2008.

Indians general manager Chris Antonetti has declined comment, but if the club does indeed sign him, he’ll likely compete with the likes of Jeanmar Gomez, Josh Tomlin, David Huff and Anthony Reyes for the final spot in the starting rotation.

Mike Fiers may not be ready for start of regular season due to back issue

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Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press reports that Tigers starter Mike Fiers is dealing with a back issue and may not be ready for the start of the season. Manager Ron Gardenhire characterized the injury as a “stiff back” and added, “Maybe a little bit of a bulging disk or something like that.”

Fiers, 32, signed a one-year, $6 million deal with the Tigers in December. He has had a forgettable spring, yielding 12 runs on 10 hits and eight walks with seven strikeouts in 11 1/3 innings.

Fiers had a rotation spot locked up along with Michael Fulmer, Jordan Zimmermann, and Francisco Liriano. Matt Boyd and Daniel Norris were battling it out for the No. 5 spot. If Fiers opens the regular season on the 10-day disabled list, both could have spots in the rotation.