Where will Barry Bonds bring his custom massage chair in 2007? The Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo is as curious as you and I, though far better connected.
Any team thinking about signing Bonds for what should be the historic season in which he breaks Hank Aaron’s home run record will have to deal with a few headaches along the way. An American League general manager likened it to the Cowboys signing Terrell Owens, except Owens has a lot left in the tank while Bonds is at the end and really should be a DH given his balky knees, lack of mobility, and recent elbow surgery.
Orioles senior executive vice president Jim Duquette thinks his team would have to do more than just kick the tires.“We’d have to seriously consider it,” said Duquette. “We could sorely use a power bat.
“Obviously, there are many factors we’d have to consider, including contract. But I would think if Barry were out there, there would be other American League teams interested, considering what he could do as a DH, preserving his body, and the fact you’d be getting a player who is about to break the home run record.”
In other words, potential for a box office boom.
For as much Advil-popping as there might be, the sound at the cash register would be worth the trouble to teams needing a boost. Bonds has been cast as a villain outside the Bay Area, but most fans would embrace him if he were their own.
“It takes one team,” said Toronto general manager J.P. Ricciardi. “I’d be really surprised if he had trouble getting a job. I’d think, being so close to the record, that he’d want to play and settle on a fair deal so he could break the record.”
“I don’t think we could afford him,” Ricciardi said. “I think it takes a special situation, a GM who is very secure with his job who could go out on a limb and take that chance. I think Brian [Sabean] has done a great job dealing with Barry and his situation and everything that comes with it. I have no idea the state of those talks, but I would guess that’s where he ends up in the end.”
It could be an easy transition for Bonds to slide over to Oakland, but Frank Thomas is blocking that. Thomas, too, will be a free agent and is entertaining an offer that could pay him up to $16 million over two years.
Keep in mind, by the way, that Cliff Floyd is unlikely to return to the Mets, and Omar Minaya has already shown little hestitation in giving his manager corner outfielders who have great difficulty tracking down fly balls.
OK, I’m not being serious, but anything to cut the tension while we wait to see Which Oliver Perez shows up. Amongst the interested neutrals, the San Diego Padres, who are expected to make a run at Perez in the offseason.
The New York Daily News’ Bill Madden seems fairly certain the White Sox will be amongst the clubs eager to discuss an Alex Rodriguez swap. Of course, Madden’s one of the guys who told us Joe Torre was as good as fired a week ago, but nobody’s perfect.
White Sox GM Kenny Williams has long lusted for A-Rod and was the first to come calling last week, letting it be known he’d be willing to give up any one of his three established starters, Freddy Garcia, Javier Vazquez or Mark Buerhle. The Yankees weren’t interested. On the other hand, Brandon McCarthy, the White Sox’s 6-7 righty with top-of-the-rotation potential, might get their attention. Conceivably, Williams would be willing to include third baseman Joe Crede in any deal in that because, in Josh Fields, he has a blue chip replacement ready for the hot corner. A-Rod’s agent, Scott Boras, would probably be interested in that scenario since he also represents Crede, who is up for free agency after next year. The White Sox have told Crede they won’t offer him an extension unless he gets a minor operation for his periodically ailing back – which he has so far refused to do.
Boras, however, should not expect the Yankees to make a run at his other high-profile client, Barry Zito, especially after Oakland’s lefty ace’s fourth-inning, 92-pitch kayo by the Tigers in Game 1 of the ALCS. They’ve been there, done that with Randy Johnson and Mike Mussina.
The SF Chronicle’s Bruce Jenkins gives Huston Street considerable credit for facing the music after serving up Mags’ series clinching 3-run HR yesterday afternoon, but I’m just hoping for a call from the Elias Koteas Sports Bureau that can tell us the last time a closer came in as early as the 7th inning and was expected to hang on. Clearly, you couldn’t do this in the NL (unless you were Willie Randolph and didn’t mind giving away an automatic out in the 9th spot).