At the end of the 2010 season, Jeremy Bonderman will become a free agent, and right now his future is very much up in the air. Not only is it unclear if the Tigers will decide to bring him back, but it's also unclear if Bonderman will even play baseball beyond this season.
According to a recent interview with the Free Press, Bonderman is seriously considering retiring at the end of the season. It's not a sure thing by any means, but the thought is in his head at the very least.
"(Owner Mike Ilitch) and the Tigers' organization have given me an opportunity to provide for my family really well, and I feel like I've saved a lot of money and I have the ability to be able to do what I want -- whether it's be with my kids every day or go on fishing trips with my dad or brothers," he said in the clubhouse at Tropicana Field. "At times I love it. At times I'm like, 'Man.' " [...]
"I feel I have a lot left," Bonderman said. "If I really want to play, I can play. I'm just kind of thinking about it. I don't know if it's what I'm going to do."
A factor that will play a great role in his decision is what the Tigers decide to do with him. Because he is without a contract beyond the end of this season, it's possible that the Tigers will decide to move on and not offer him a chance to come back. If that were to happen, then Bonderman would hope to find a home with a team in the western part of the country, as his family lives in Washington. If nothing worthwhile came along, then retirement could be the next step for Bonderman.
Based on what he had to say about his feelings right now, he just misses his family. Could an offseason at home change his feelings about not wanting to play anymore? It's possible. But will he want to deal with the grind of being a major-league pitcher again for at least a couple more seasons if he keeps playing and signs somewhere? That is a decision Bonderman will have to make, and right now it sounds like he would rather just hang up his cleats if he isn't able to stick with the Tigers or find a new team out West.