Reports have surfaced that the New York Yankees, in need of options for the back of their starting rotation, are interested in former Detroit Tiger right-hander Jeremy Bonderman. The Yankees, of course, are planning for life without Andy Pettitte, who seems intent on retiring. At least this week.
If there is such a thing as a 'Bonderman Bandwagon' I am jumping aboard. At least when you think about some of the other names that have been bandied about as possible Yankee rotation band-aids, like used-to-be's Bartolo Colon and Freddy Garcia. I would take a flier on the 28-year-old Bonderman rather than either of those over-the-hill options in a heartbeat.
Bonderman was a double-digit winner for Detroit for four straight seasons, from 2004 through 2007. He began experiencing injury issues in 2007, though, and wound up missing all of 2008 and most of 2009 following shoulder surgery. He pitched 30 games for the Tigers last season, 29 starts, and finished 8-10, with a 5.53 ERA and 1.444 WHIP.
Undeniably, not impressive numbers. It was not that long ago, however, that Bonderman was considered a No. 2 or 3 type starter, and at just 28 you have to think he has a better chance at regaining that type of form than a guy like Colon or Garcia.
Bonderman won 14 games in both 2005 and 2006, with 2006 being his best season. He went 14-8 with a 4.08 ERA, pitching a career-best 214 innings.
Yes, I am still hoping for a return by Pettitte. With only Ivan Nova and Sergio Mitre as legitimate fourth and fifth-starter candidates if the veteran lefty retires, though, a flier on Bonderman sounds like a good idea to me.