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.

The Dodgers do not have a general manager, but they have an assistant general manager

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LAS VEGAS — Farhan Zaidi left his job as the general manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers to become the president of baseball operations for the San Francisco Giants. While Dodgers president Andrew Friedman remains at the top of the baseball operations department, Zaidi’s departure has left the Dodgers without a general manager. It happens. It also happens that the Dodgers do not plan to replace Zaidi with a new general manager any time soon. They just said so last week.

They do, however, have an assistant general manager now. It’s Jeff Kingston, late of the Seattle Mariners, where he served as Jerry Dipoto’s assistant. Now he is an assistant with no one, nominally, to assist. Seems like some sort of dividing by zero error, philosophically speaking, but we’ll just assume it’ll sort itself out.

Two less cosmic takeaways from this: 1. Kingston is an analytics guy who has typically advised the wheeler-dealer — Dipoto — so it’s fairly safe to assume he’ll do that in Los Angeles too; and 2. that a team is happy to proceed without a general manager should tell you where general managers, well, in general, stand in this age of title inflation in baseball front offices.

I imagine that, after some time in the organization, Kingston will be named the actual general manager with no real change in his duties, further underscoring that, in this day and age, the title of GM is like the value of a Zimbabwean dollar.