The Mariners signed Pasco-native Jeremy Bonderman to a minor league deal today, and you can probably discern the level of frustration you have with the Mariners by evaluating your reaction of a move like this. If a move like this makes you mad for any reason, it may be time to take up a new hobby.
Imagine your desire for the Mariners to make a move, and return to contention as your desire to use the bathroom on a long road trip, and you’re in the passenger seat. The driver doesn’t have any control over where the next rest stop (free agent) is, the driver has no control in that moment what kind of car (team) you’re riding in. The driver can only drive the car as fast as it can go. If he’s in a Prius (Houston Astros), you won’t be evacuating (signing big name free agents) for a while. If he drives a Ferrari (Dodgers) you may get there fast, or you may get pulled over and face a significant fine (luxury tax), and worse, you may make a mess of an otherwise great pair of pants (Florida Marlins).
In this case, based on the Mariners being rumored as interested in just about every free agent hitter, let’s assume the driver is doing everything they can to get you to the facilities as fast as they can. But this isn’t the fucking Flintstone car. The driver can only continue to watch the road, and continue to keep their foot on the pedal. The car is a tool of man, but a tool that perform to the capabilities of itself, not the will of the operator. There’s no sense getting mad at the driver for wiping his brow, or taking a drink of his soda. Sure, those acts aren’t intrinsically beneficial to your plight as a needy person plans poorly in conjunction with their digestive system, but that’s because they really aren’t intrinsically related at all. They don’t detract from the effort, and they don’t help with the effort. They’re generally insignificant, and if anything, they can only probably help.
I’ve just compared signing Jeremy Bonderman to an insignificant act en route to a hole in the ground full of fecal matter (Price Creek rest stop, Eastbound I-90 on Snoqualmie pass)(Seriously, it’s gross), thus, I’ve compared the free agent market to a pile of crap.
Jeremy Bonderman hasn’t pitched since 2010, and he wasn’t good in 2010. He missed most of 2008 and 2009 with shoulder injuries, injuries that likely contributed to his 2010 struggles and his not pitching for the past two seasons. Bonderman is only 30 years old, and has two years away from the wear and tear of being a big league starting pitcher. We saw Ben Sheets pitch pretty well after missing a year in 2012. We also saw Sheets retire after that season.
The Mariners did this kind of thing last year when they signed Kevin Millwood, and he turned out fine. Better than fine actually. He was a two-win pitcher in only 161 innings. He was better than Jason Vargas, but signed for only $1 million.
They did the same for Jeff Marquez, and I saw three Jeff Marquez starts in Tacoma before the team cut him.