Agent Confident Bonds Controls Destiny
Dec. 07, 2006
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) _ Barry Bonds' agent said Thursday the free-agent slugger could sign a new contract whenever he wants.
``He could snap his fingers and get a deal done,'' Jeff Borris said.
Currently, Bonds and his former team, the San Francisco Giants, were still far apart on a deal, with the seven-time NL MVP hoping for a contract worth about $18 million. The sides have been exchanging offers but weren't sure they would talk Thursday before traveling home from the winter meetings.
``I don't want to get into specifics,'' Giants general manager Brian Sabean said. ``It's fluid. ... We'll debrief when everybody gets back.''
Borris would not confirm which teams, other than the Giants, are involved, though the St. Louis Cardinals apparently have made their interest known.
Bonds met Wednesday with his former Pirates manager and now-Detroit skipper Jim Leyland, who is close friends with St. Louis manager Tony La Russa.
``I really can't comment on any offers that have been made,'' said Borris, who was leaving the hotel Thursday morning. ``There's no sense of urgency. I can't predict any timetable. The Giants have always been in play. My gut doesn't indicate one way or another right now.''
Bonds didn't sit down with the Giants.
``It wasn't prudent,'' Sabean said. ``I've never talked to a player about negotiations in person. I didn't think that was what we needed to do, and Jeff agreed.''
Bonds has spent 14 of his 21 seasons with San Francisco and helped the Giants draw 3 million fans in all seven seasons of their waterfront ballpark's existence.
The arrival of Bonds at the winter meetings Wednesday caused quite a stir.
``All of the reporting about him being here looking for work was the most insane, absurd and irresponsible journalism of 2006, but it was entertaining to read,'' Borris said.
Bonds has 734 home runs, 22 from breaking Hank Aaron's career record of 755. After missing all but 14 games in 2005 following three operations on his right knee, Bonds batted .270 with 26 homers and 77 RBIs in 367 at-bats in 2006.
He passed Babe Ruth to move into second place on the career home run list May 28.
Can the Giants fill Bonds' spot in the middle of the order if they don't re-sign him?
``We'll see,'' Sabean said. ``It's a good question.''
He said he had some other deals in the works, with hopes of completing something by the end of the week.