August 7, 2017 marked the 10-year anniversary of former Giants slugger Barry Bonds passing Hank Aaron for the all-time home run lead at 763. Speaking to the Associated Press, Bonds said that if he had kept playing after 2007, he believes he could have reached 800 homers or at least come close to it.
Bonds hit .276/.480/.565 with 28 home runs and 66 RBI in 477 plate appearances in ’07 at the age of 42. He did not sign the next season despite stating publicly that he would play for the major league minimum salary. Bonds retired with 762 home runs. Given how he played in his final year, it’s hard to disagree with his statement.
Bonds said it “stung” to stop playing baseball after 2007. He also said that he was told he wasn’t returning to the Giants “and that was it.”
In 2015, an arbitrator for Major League Baseball ruled against Bonds, who filed a collusion grievance against the league. It’s fishy that a player, even a 42-year-old, came off a 1.045 OPS season willing to play for the league minimum and went unsigned. Bonds, of course, was also wrapped up in performance-enhancing drug allegations and was not the most popular clubhouse presence.
The Mariners acquired Yankees’ right-hander Nick Rumbelow in exchange for minor league righty Juan Then and left-hander JP Sears, per an official announcement on Saturday. Rumbelow made 17 appearances for the Yankees in 2015 before undergoing Tommy John surgery and could provide some bullpen depth for the Mariners in 2018.
The 26-year-old right-hander spent the majority of his 2017 season in Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, where he delivered an 0.62 ERA, 2.5 BB/9 and 9.3 SO/9 over 29 innings. The Yankees didn’t rush Rumbelow into a full workload after he missed the 2016 season recovering from Tommy John, but he didn’t appear to have any significant setbacks with his health or performance and should be ready to compete for a role next spring.
Sears, 21, was ranked 21st in the Mariners’ organization by MLB Pipeline. He was drafted in the 11th round of the 2017 draft and features a deceptive, low-velocity fastball that he can throw for strikes to either side of the plate. In his first year of pro ball, he split 17 games between Short-Season A Everett and Single-A Clinton, turning in an 0.65 ERA, 3.9 BB/9 and 16.6 SO/9 across two levels.
Then, 17, also completed his first year of pro ball after signing with the Mariners as a free agent. He went 2-2 in 13 games of rookie ball, pitching to a 2.64 ERA, 2.2 BB/9 and 8.2 SO/9 in 61 1/3 innings. Neither Sears nor Then will take the mound for the Yankees anytime soon, and offloading Rumbelow to the Mariners should clear up some room on New York’s 40-man roster as they prepare for the upcoming Rule 5 Draft.