Yankees interested in Jeremy Bonderman?

Kevin Long planning to work with Jeter before camp
Pedro Feliciano, relief workhorse
Bonderman throws his first major league pitch. He doesn't look like the type of guy who'd make you throw a chair through a wall. (Paul Warner/AP)

Expect to see a lot of this the rest of the off-season, or at least until the back end of the Yankees’ rotation does not include the names Ivan Nova and Sergio Mitre. Not long ago Fox Sports’s Jon Morosi reported that the Yankees “have shown interest” in Jeremy Bonderman. To what degree they’re interested is not clear, but I think we can turn to an oft-repeated line from Brian Cashman to get an idea.

“It’s something we do with every free agent.”

Two weeks ago Mike examined Bonderman and found little to like. While it appeared that his career was on the right track in 2006, when the Tigers went to the World Series, he’s been quite the disappointment ever since. It’s hard to believe he was just 23 that year. You can check Mike’s post for the gory details, but suffice it to say that injury played a major role in his downfall. After missing time in 2007 with blister problems followed by an elbow issue, he pitched just 81.2 innings combined in 2008 and 2009.

Bonderman did have a few good stretches in an overall disappointing 2010. From April 21 through June 1 he had a 2.70 ERA in 46.2 innings, which included a 35 to 12 K/BB ratio. Mixed in there was a seven-inning, two-run performance against the Yankees. Those starts, unfortunately, were bookended by two of his worst: a four-inning, 10-run debacle against the Mariners and a 5.2-inning, seven-run job against the Royals. He also continued to induce ground balls at a decent rate, a skill that is always welcome from a righty at Yankee Stadium.

As Mike said, “It would be foolish to count on Bonderman recovering the magic from 2004 through 2006.” But if he can build on what he did in 2010, he can be a decent back end option. With just a little improvement he’ll past the basic test — is he better than Segio Mitre? — with flying colors. It’s going to take quite the incentive-laden deal for me to get behind this one, but considering what the Yankees have on hand and what’s on the market, they could do a lot worse than a low-risk deal on Bonderman.

Kevin Long planning to work with Jeter before camp
Pedro Feliciano, relief workhorse
  • http://www.thesubwayconnection.com Alex Taffet (Formerly Newbie)

    I doubt this is any more than a little fake interest on the part of Cash & Co. He’d just be a bigger named Sergio Mitre were he to come to New York.

    • http://www.yahoo.com mike darragh

      you never know he still is young sometimes it takes pitchers awhile to harness there stuff and mature maybe yankees get lucky or maybe they dont

  • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com/ bexarama

    a four-inning, 10-run debacle against the Mariners

    How is that even possible

    • whozat

      Ichrio got drunk and decided to hit some homers that day.

    • http://www.twitter.com/jordansmed JGS

      The Mariners scored double digit runs twice all season. That’s it.

    • Midland TX

      Straight ball I hit it very much.

  • hello9

    I was a proponent of taking a flier on Bonderman before, so just for shits and giggles:

    2010 Bonderman splits

    I Split W L W-L% ERA G GS
    in Wins
    8 0 1.000 2.70 8 8
    in Losses
    0 10 .000 9.11 10 10

    2010 Burnett splits
    I Split W L W-L% ERA G GS
    in Wins
    10 0 1.000 1.08 10 10
    in Losses
    0 15 .000 10.35 15 15

    • mbonzo

      WOW I had never seen those splits for AJ. Thats incredible.

      I wish fangraphs would show splits on wins and loses v. velocity and pitch type. Unless I just don’t know where to find that.

  • DareBear

    Trade for Armando Galarraga.

  • Mr Moss

    Anyone with an arm is better than that useless bum Mitre

    • http://www.facebook.com/cecala Joseph Cecala

      Too bad Bonderman’s arm could fall off…

    • http://danielslifka.wordpress.com Jerome S.

      Javier Vazquez sure tried his best to disprove that.

  • GermanYankee

    Bonderman? Hell no. Look how many HR/9 he gave up in his career and he isn’t pitching in a hitter’s park.

  • SRB

    Continued speculation on slugs- David Phelps!

  • Jorge

    If upside is all that’s out there, then go upside.

  • Ted Nelson

    Yeah, I think low risk is the key here. If his market value is low enough he’s someone the Yankees have to consider.

    No one should be looking at Bonderman as the Yankees solution–which some posters of course are, leading to their “no way” attitudes–but simply as an arm to throw into the mix to start the season. Someone to compete with Nova, Mitre, etc. to open the season in the rotation. Maybe you get lucky and he finds success. You continue looking for another solution along the way, though, and if you don’t get lucky you pull the trigger on acquiring a surer thing mid-season.

    You can’t do that as easily if you’re investing heavily in a bigger name free agent or trade acquisition. If they don’t pan out you’ve just lost a lot. If Bonderman doesn’t pan out you’ve lost almost nothing, and in fact what you expected to happen did.

  • Andrew Brotherton

    I think Hector Noesi or David Phelps could have a real shot and later on in the year Stoneburner or Warren. I’m sure all 4 will get starts this year but I think it will either be Hector or David in that 5th slot instead of Mitre.

  • bobmac

    Don’t do it,wouldn’t be prudent.

  • Wil Nieves #1 Fan

    Bonderman would be an excellent fit for the 2011 rotation. Hopefully he can recreate that magic he had in his 2003 rookie campaign. Or was that just beginner’s luck?

  • Preston

    I heard Bonderman was asking for something like 7 mil. If he was asking for a Sergio Mitre like contract maybe I’d take a flier on him. But to me Bonderman is an injury risk and his upside when healthy isn’t that good.