From his recent quotes, it appears that Barry Bonds has every intention of playing in 2008. You may recall that he asked the Giants for an easily attainable ’08 option this winter but couldn’t get it. There was even some chatter about Bonds wanting to play in ’09. At the least, he’ll need to play next year if the next goal is 3,000 hits. Assuming Bonds gets around 27 more hits this year, he’ll still be 57 short of the milestone. We’re talking late June/early July of ’08.
Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe asks the logical question: which team will have him? There are many factors to consider:
- Contract: Cafardo mentions that Bonds is paid $17MM this year. However, it’s more like $20MM if he reaches all of his plate appearance incentives. If Bonds can reach 525 PAs this year – which he should if he plays 135 games – he’ll earn $4.2MM in incentives on top of his $15.8MM base salary. Maybe no team will pay it, but Bonds will probably be asking for something close to $20MM to play in 2008. Only a handful of teams can afford such an expensive player.
- Indictment: The grand jury reconvenes in September, and Bonds is likely to be indicted on tax evasion and perjury charges. Bonds could also face suspension from Bud Selig or may just be wrapped up in court for a while. He could even face jail time sometime in ’08, I believe. His current contract allows the Giants to terminate if he’s indicted; a new one would have to have a similar provision.
Will the Giants finally move on from Bonds? That’s an open question. Bonds wants to stay, GM Brian Sabean probably wants to move on, and Giants owner Peter Magowan might want him to finish his career as a Giant. The Giants remain his most likely suitor.
Cafardo dismisses the A’s, Pirates, Yankees, Angels, Orioles, Padres, Twins, Mariners, and Tigers for various reasons. One suitor he didn’t mention: the Rangers. Bonds was apparently close to signing with them last winter.