Best Fit For Bonds: Atlanta?

UPDATE: Martin Johnson at The Root is taking a path-less-tread by calling for a "happy ending" to the Barry Bonds saga.   He says Bonds can still hit, and where better than Pittsburgh, a city in need of attendance since Bonds left in 1992.  Personally, I can’t see how Bonds can be anything more than a DH, which nixes this suggestion.  Further, San Fran teammate Dave Roberts was quoted saying Bonds "is going to want to be in a situation where he can win," and the Pirates are not that.  Still, Martin says,

"Bonds should offer his services to his first pro team, The Pittsburgh Pirates, and offer to play for the league minimum salary… Bonds has made $188 million playing baseball; in the name of boosting his public image, he can afford a pay cut."

What better way to start your week than with a Barry Bonds update? I’ll start by pointing to Tim’s recent survey that the majority of MLBTR readers (60.2%) don’t think Bonds will play for a Major League team in 2008.

Still, Phil Rogers of the Chicago Tribune explores the best fits for Bonds.  Somehow, the Rays are still being considered an option here.  We’re going back and forth at this point, as Peter Gammons had last reported there was nothing there, so I’m sorry if I’m beating a dead horse.

"Last week’s mini-firestorm about the Tampa Bay Rays’ interest in Bonds was not a smoke screen. Despite general manager Andrew Friedman saying this was a "non-story" there’s no doubt the St. Petersburg Times had it right. The Rays, especially principal owner Stuart Sternberg, are monitoring the availability of Bonds, who still might be capable of a 40-homer season at Tropicana Field."

Rogers notes payroll isn’t a hurdle for Tampa Bay.  And he tosses in his opinion:

"If Friedman wanted to really roll the dice, he would sign Bonds and then trade his most marketable chip, Carl Crawford, for pitching and prospects."

Rogers then explores the idea of Atlanta being the best possible destination, "The best fit of all for Bonds could be in Atlanta, however, with a hole in left field and Bobby Cox to keep him in line."

By Nat Boyle

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