As first reported by beat writer Tom Gage of the Detroit News, the Tigers have reached agreement on a minor league contract with right-handed pitcher Jeremy Bonderman. The 30-year-old former first-round pick has been assigned to Triple-A Toledo, where he will function as organizational depth.
Bonderman joined the Mariners’ starting rotation on June 2 and pitched pretty well early on, but he was ultimately designated for assignment on July 8 after posting a rough 4.93 ERA (77 ERA+) and 1.49 WHIP across 38 1/3 total innings. Erasmo Ramirez is currently serving as Seattle’s fifth starter.
Bonderman owns a 4.89 career ERA (89 ERA+) and 1.41 career WHIP in 214 major league appearances. He was drafted by the A’s but made his MLB debut with the Tigers in 2003 and spent eight years with them.
The White Sox have reportedly picked up first baseman Yonder Alonso from the Indians, according to Stadium. The return for Alonso is expected to be nothing more flashy than a “fringe prospect,” though the minutiae of the deal is still pending a formal announcement from both teams.
Alonso, 31, inked a two-year deal with the Indians during the 2017 offseason. His first campaign with the club yielded a modest .250/.317/.421 batting line, 23 home runs, .738 OPS and 0.7 fWAR in 574 PA. The real boon for the White Sox may not be a passable veteran bat, however, but something more intangible — like Alonso’s clout with his brother-in-law and highly-coveted free agent slugger, Manny Machado.
While Alonso’s 2018 output represented a significant decline from the career-best numbers he posted in 2017, he’s still a solid contributor at the plate and, more importantly, slated to remain under team control for the next two years with just $8 million owed in 2019 and a $9 million option in 2020. As MLB.com’s Anthony Castrovince notes, the $17 million the Indians just erased from their payroll should give them enough room to accommodate the contracts for right-handers Trevor Bauer and Corey Kluber — a bonus regardless of what they happen to get in the trade.