I suppose that’s low-hanging fruit. Alas. Point is that Barry Bonds was back in San Francisco yesterday for the reunion of the Giants 2000 team/celebration of ten years of that nice ballpark they have. He hasn’t done much media lately because someone who is indicted on perjury charges is well-advised to never say anything to anyone, but he did give the press six minutes of his time. Highlights, such as they were:
- Bonds had some nice words for Mark McGwire: “I’m proud of what he did. I’m happy for him.” From the video of the interview you can tell he”s talking about becoming a hitting coach, but you just know people are going to take that as Bonds saying he was proud of McGwire for confessing to using roids.
- Indeed, the next question from a reporter was asking Bonds if he could see himself “doing what Mark did,” and then quickly appending ” . . . becoming a coach” in a way that made it seem clear that the reporter was aware of the ambiguity between apologizing/coaching. Bonds winced a bit until that “becoming a coach” part was added. You can tell he thought he was being asked if he was going to apologize. Just kind of interesting to watch.
- Bonds said that he wasn’t retired yet and wasn’t sure what he’d do in the unlikely event that a team called him. Seems to be that he was just being PR mindful about the subject, however. Rich Aurilia had just announced his retirement at the same event, Bonds probably knew it, so there’s no way that he was going to stomp on that with some announcement, formal or otherwise, of his own. Bonds can be a jerk, but he’s not so big a jerk that he’s going to rain on a former teammates’s parade. My guess is that he just ends up doing it Rickey-style and never saying he’s retired because, really, what’s the point?
- The quote in the headline came when it was noted that he was in shape. The full quote is fun for any of you who love to hate Bonds: “I’ve just been working out a lot, that’s all. I work
out all the time. It’s been in my genes my whole life. I
just don’t work out as hard anymore. I don’t lift as heavy weights
anymore to be bulky. I don’t know, I’ve got that Hollywood look.”
From Jon Heyman of CBS Sports comes word that the Orioles “like” free agent starter Yovani Gallardo and “have reached out to him” to gauge his interest in coming to Baltimore and what that might cost.
Gallardo rejected a one-year, $15.8 million qualifying offer from the Rangers earlier this month and so his free agency is tied to draft pick compensation, but that shouldn’t hurt his bottom line all that much.
The 29-year-old right-hander posted a solid 3.42 ERA in 184 1/3 innings (33 starts) this past season for Texas and he pitched well in his one ALDS start.
Heyman reported a few weeks ago that the Diamondbacks are interested, and the Cubs, Blue Jays, and Dodgers were tied to him just ahead of the July 31 trade deadline.
David Price has expressed a desire to return to Toronto, where he finished out the 2015 season, but FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal writes Wednesday that the Blue Jays “are not expected to be a major factor in his free agency.”
The teams that should be considered serious suitors, per Rosenthal, are the Cubs, Cardinals, Giants, Dodgers, and Red Sox — all deep-pocketed teams looking to contend in 2016. Money is apparently the issue for the Blue Jays, who are currently owned by Rogers Communications.
Price registered an outstanding 2.45 ERA, 1.076 WHIP, and 225/47 K/BB ratio in 220 1/3 innings (32 starts) this past season between the Tigers and Jays, finishing second in the American League Cy Young Award race behind Dallas Keuchel of the Astros.
The 30-year-old left-hander is probably looking for a six- or seven-year contract worth more than $25 million per season. He is represented by agent Bo McKinnis.
Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald wrote three weeks ago that the Marlins were probably going to explore an extension this winter with second baseman Dee Gordon. And it sounds like those talks are underway.
Via beat writer Joe Frisaro of MLB.com:
As a guest on MLB Network’s “Hot Stove” show Wednesday morning, Gordon confirmed his camp has been in talks with the Marlins regarding a multiyear deal. A source told MLB.com that the discussions are preliminary and have just recently started.
“My agent is doing the talking,” Gordon said on the show. “They’re just keeping me in the loop. I think it’s going pretty well right now. We’ll see how that goes. I’m just playing the waiting game. We’re going to do the right thing.”
The 27-year-old carries three more seasons of salary arbitration, so there’s no real rush to get something done before next spring. Gordon carries quite a bit of leverage after posting a career-best .333/.359/.418 slash line in 145 games this past season for the Fish. He led all major leaguers in hits (205) and stolen bases (58).
Bud Norris has found a home for his attempt at a bounceback season, signing a one-year deal with the Braves. Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com says it’s worth $2.5 million, which is a huge cut from his $8.8 million salary this year.
Norris had established himself as a solid mid-rotation starter from 2009-2014, but had a brutal 2015 season split between the Orioles and Padres with a 6.72 ERA in 83 innings and a late-season move to the bullpen.
In announcing the signing the Braves referred to Norris as a starting pitcher, so joining the rotation for a rebuilding team gives him a chance to get his career back on track with an eye on hitting the open market as a free agent again next offseason. And if he fares well, the Braves could use him to add a prospect or two at the trade deadline.