Menu

Baseball

RHP Jeremy Bonderman expects to play elsewhere next year after 8 seasons with Tigers

Jeremy Bonderman is looking forward to proving he can stay healthy again next season while figuring out a way to be more consistent.

Does he expect that to happen with the Detroit Tigers?

"Honestly, probably not," Bonderman said Sunday before Detroit's home finale against Minnesota. "It's part of the business. The Tigers have a good farm system."

The Tigers aren't ready to reveal their plans with Bonderman.

"Will address his situation at a later date," team president and general manager Dave Dombrowski wrote in an e-mail.

Bonderman is 8-9 with a 5.18 ERA in 28 starts this season. He had 111 strikeouts, gave up 181 hits and 56 walks in 166 2-3 innings.

The right-hander proved he could remain in the rotation all season after pitching in just 20 games the previous two years because he needed shoulder surgery.

He won 14 games with a 4.08 ERA in 2006, made three solid starts in the playoffs to help Detroit reach the World Series and was rewarded with a $38 million, four-year deal.

After having a winning record for a third straight season in 2007, a blood clot in his right shoulder the next year stunted his career. He was 3-4 in 12 starts in 2008 and 0-1 in eight games last season.

Bonderman bounced back well enough to rank third on the team in starts and hopes another team will give him a shot to be in its rotation next year even if he has to sign a one-year, incentive-laden contract.

"You can't be picky when you're trying to prove everybody that you can still do it," he said. "I proved I'm healthy, but it's a matter of being more consistent. I have had games I've dominated and games like (Saturday)."

Bonderman gave up seven runs — for the second time in two months — on Saturday night to the Twins. He allowed only one run in two starts since August.

"I'm still young. I'm only 27," he said. "I just want to go play. I know somebody will give me an opportunity, it's just a matter of who."

Oakland drafted Bonderman in the June 2001 draft, making him the first U.S. resident to be drafted after his junior year in high school. Bonderman, who is from Pasco, Wash., skipped his senior year in high school after earning a general equivalency diploma.

The Tigers acquired Bonderman in 2002 as part of a three-way deal that sent pitcher Jeff Weaver to the New York Yankees. He was a 20-year-old rookie the next year, going 6-19, when Detroit lost an AL-record 119 games.

"I've got a lot of friends here, a lot of memories," Bonderman said. "Yeah, it is (unfortunate) I'll probably never see the inside of this clubhouse again. But I don't really look at it like that."