Barry Bonds has been told by the Giants that they will not be offering him a contract for the 2008 season. The team is holding a press conference, but Barry beat them to the punch on his website. He’s a tad perturbed that the team didn’t inform him of this decision earlier.
Bonds’ last paragraph:
I would have loved nothing more than to retire as a Giant in the place where I call home and have shared so many momentous moments with all of you, but there is more baseball in me and I plan on continuing my career. My quest for a World Series ring continues.
So he’s coming back in ’08. This is shaping up to be an exciting offseason.
Let’s assume Barry moves to the AL to serve as a DH (not a lock, but for the purposes of this post). Here’s a run-down of the 14 American League teams.
- Orioles: They could probably make room at DH, with Aubrey Huff, Jay Gibbons, Kevin Millar, and Miguel Tejada splitting time there this year. But the O’s probably want to distance themselves from the steroid stink and may trade Tejada. Nick Cafardo said in August that there is some support for Bonds in the organization, but the O’s want to get younger. More specifically, in December John Shea said Jim Duquette liked the idea of pairing Bonds with Tejada.
- Red Sox: I don’t see Big Papi moving to first, and you’d damage the defense by always having two of Bonds, Ramirez, and Ortiz on the field on a given night.
- Yankees: This year, the DH spot has been shared by Johnny Damon, Jason Giambi, and Hideki Matsui for the most part. With older guys on the roster, you’d rather have the spot free to use to rest people. Damon could be moved, but Giambi will be making $21MM and you’d rather not see him at first base.
- Devil Rays: John Shea says Bonds wouldn’t have gone to St. Petersburg had the Giants moved there in ’93, implying he dislikes the area so much that this can’t happen. I like the Rays as a dark horse but they are going to need the DH spot if they’ve got Crawford, Upton, and Young set in the outfield. Jonny Gomes and Rocco Baldelli still need to play.
- Blue Jays: They’re paying Frank Thomas $8MM to DH.
- White Sox: With Thome and Konerko locked in, there’s just no room.
- Indians: Mark Shapiro wasn’t in on him last year, and his DH spot is occupied by Travis Hafner. I don’t see it.
- Tigers: Sheff’s making $14MM next year to DH.
- Royals: If they’re truly committed to using Billy Butler at first base next year, they could have room. This is not the craziest idea in the world, but wouldn’t gel with Bonds’ World Series goal.
- Twins: Received a woeful .267/.341/.384 line from the DH spot this year among many players. Bonds would help the Twins, but they still don’t seem a likely fit for each other. Plus, Bonds would cost upwards of $10MM.
- Angels: You’d rather not take the DH possibility away from Vlad, who’s used it for 36 games this year. But Bonds could take the field 30 times without killing himself or the team. I like the match – West Coast, the money is there, the need is there, the risk is limited. A healthy Juan Rivera could cause a jam though.
- Athletics: The A’s seemed open to Bonds last winter, but the main concern was price. This is a distinct possibility if Bonds comes down to the $10-12MM range.
- Mariners: He’d help the offense for sure. But Jose Vidro and Raul Ibanez are both under contract for ’08. Vidro can only play the field a couple of times a week and you’d rather not see Ibanez out there. To put them both on the field at the same time would be especially ugly. Even if Jose Guillen departs I don’t see it.
- Rangers: Bonds was supposedly close to signing with a "mystery team" last winter, and that was later identified as the Rangers. Sammy Sosa actually hit decently as the DH this year (.272/.322/.492). Ron Washington and Sammy both want the relationship to continue. Still, Sammy might accept a part-time role. It would be interesting to see Bonds and Sosa as teammates, that’s for sure. Not out of the question.
Nate Silver places odds for Bonds signing with each of the 30 MLB teams. He favors the Padres, though Ken Rosenthal recently said Bonds in the NL looks like a longshot.