Don't the Detroit Tigers need to sign Jeremy Bonderman, pronto? After seeing the Texas Rangers shell out $33 million over three years to Vincente Padilla and amid rumors that Ted Lilly could command ten million a season, I believe the Tigers can't get Bonderman to sign an extension quickly enough.
I can't see allowing Bonderman to go either the arbitration or free agency route. Even with whatever perceived shortcomings he has, Bonderman has four big league seasons under his belt (45 career wins), a 1-0 record in the post-season, a ton of talent and hasn't reached his twenty-fifth birthday. If Padilla, who is 29 and has 66 career wins in eight years, can get $11 million on season on the open market, what is Bonderman worth? $12 million a season? $14 million? More?
Ask yourself these questions: Who would you rather have in 2007, Padilla or Bonderman? How about in 2010? Or 2012? I'd take Bonderman. If my guess is right, so would every single general manager in Major League Baseball. That would make Bonderman very, very popular on the open market. The Tigers shouldn't even contemplate that thought long. They should sign the Bonderman as soon as is possible.
Here's another way of looking at it. If Bonderman were on another team, wouldn't you want him on the Tigers? Wouldn't he be the kind of young, yet big league tested, power arm the Tigers and every other team are in constant search of?
Certainly, a big money, long term deal is a risk. Any number of things can derail a pitcher's career. However, in light of the market on pitchers, signing Bonderman long term is a risk well worth taking.