Mariners sign Jeremy Bonderman to minor league contract

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According to ESPN’s Buster Olney, the Mariners have signed right-hander Jeremy Bonderman to a minor league contract. The deal includes an invite to spring training.

Bonderman hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2010 and required Tommy John surgery this April, but he’s gearing up for a comeback at the age of 30. The 2001 first-round pick owns a 4.89 ERA over eight seasons in the majors, all with the Tigers. His former club also expressed an interest in him this winter, but he ultimately opted to sign with his home state Mariners.

Bonderman hasn’t really been healthy and effective in the same season since he posted a 4.08 ERA over 34 starts in his age-23 season back in 2006, so the odds are against him after two full seasons out of the game and an elbow reconstruction. But there’s no harm in taking a flier.

MLBPA proposes 114-game season, playoff expansion to MLB

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ESPN’s Jeff Passan reports that the Major League Baseball Players Association has submitted a proposal to the league concerning the 2020 season. The proposal includes a 114-game season with an end date on October 31, playoff expansion for two years, the right for players to opt out of the season, and a potential deferral of 2020 salaries if the postseason were to be canceled.

Passan clarifies that among the players who choose to opt out, only those that are considered “high risk” would still receive their salaries. The others would simply receive service time. The union also proposed that the players receive a non-refundable $100 million sum advance during what would essentially be Spring Training 2.

If the regular season were to begin in early July, as has often been mentioned as the target, that would give the league four months to cram in 114 games. There would have to be occasional double-headers, or the players would have to be okay with few off-days. Nothing has been mentioned about division realignment or a geographically-oriented schedule, but those could potentially ease some of the burden.

Last week, the owners made their proposal to the union, suggesting a “sliding scale” salary structure. The union did not like that suggestion. Players were very vocal about it, including on social media as Max Scherzer — one of eight players on the union’s executive subcommittee — made a public statement. The owners will soon respond to the union’s proposal. They almost certainly won’t be happy with many of the details, but the two sides can perhaps find a starting point and bridge the gap. As the calendar turns to June, time is running out for the two sides to hammer out an agreement on what a 2020 season will look like.