Since the beginning of August, Barry Bonds has been on a tear. He’s hitting .329/.459/.709 over those 27 games. The slugging ranks 4th among Major Leaguers, behind Travis Hafner, Ryan Howard, and Adam LaRoche.
Overall, Bonds’s 1.001 OPS this season ranks 11th in baseball, right behind Miguel Cabrera. Any reports of his demise were greatly exaggerated. Bonds has appeared in 112 games this season, or about 81% of the Giants’ contests. The 130 game pace beats preseason expectations. He also sports the game’s best OBP at .462. The OBP leaderboard is littered with similarly slow-footed sluggers, so we shouldn’t hold that against him too much. The one true flaw in the 42 year-old’s game is his left field defense.
Aside from Ryan Howard, Bonds has been the game’s hottest hitter over the last week. It’s sparked more debate about his future. Bonds says he’d like to stay, but it’s unclear whether the Giants want him back to pursue Hank Aaron’s record. A lot of folks are dismissing the once-popular destination of Oakland because of Frank Thomas’s resurgence. But if Thomas sticks to his desire for a two-year deal, the A’s seem likely to let him walk. If they can secure Bonds as their DH for less than $10MM it could be a steal.
The Yankees are an intriguing option if they choose to let Gary Sheffield go and use Giambi or Bonds at first base. Same goes for the Red Sox, who could stick David Ortiz at first and create the most dangerous trio in baseball. Bonds could also fit with the Tigers, Mariners, or Rangers in ’07. The Dodgers could be a long shot; they could use Bonds at first base for a year if Nomar Garciaparra departs.