Christmas came a little early for Tiger fans. This is simply a huge signing and it’s one more indication that the Tigers, under Dave Dombrowski, are headed in the right direction. The Tigers signed a back loaded four year deal with Jeremy Bonderman that will pay him $4.5 million in 2007, $8.5 million in 2008 and then $12.5 million in 2009 and 2010. I don’t know what’s more difficult to believe, that we signed Bonderman to such a bargain contract or he’ll only be 28 at this time in 2010.
While Jeremy Bonderman was third on the team in wins (14) and fourth amongst the starters in ERA (4.37), he had the best “numbers” in my opinion. This is reflected in his 3.31 Fielding Independent ERA (FIP). For those of you keeping score, the only pitcher in the American League who had a better FIP in 2006 was Johan Santana (3.16) and nobody in the American League other then Santana struck out more batters the Bonderman’s 202. Yes, Kenny Rogers and Justin Verlander had great seasons, but they also finished in the top ten in run support in the American League. Jeremy Bonderman may have won less games, but he definitely earned them.
And the way contracts are going these days, $12.5 million two years from now probably won’t look that high considering you have a guy who could be competing for a Cy Young in the very near future.