Tigers sign Jeremy Bonderman to minor league contract

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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.

Giants making Brandon Belt available

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Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that the Giants have made first baseman Brandon Belt available in a trade and says that several teams have expressed interest in him.

Which is kind of weird, really.

Belt turns 31 early next season. He hit .253/.342/.414 with 14 homers over 112 games last year due to a knee injury and time lost to an appendectomy. He has a history of concussions and has averaged only 115 games over the last five seasons. Oh, and makes $48 million over the next three years.

Yes, he could be a very useful player if healthy, but taking on that kind of money, even a part of that money, when many very affordable first base/DH options are out there on the market makes little sense to me. Matt Adams. Justin Bour. Lucas Duda. As good as Belt? No, I don’t think so. But way cheaper and requiring less of a commitment.

But hey, rumors are rumors. Let a thousand flowers bloom.