Barry Bonds is open to making a comeback. Whether any team wants him, that's the tricky part.
Now that Bonds' federal trial has been delayed at least until July, the agent for baseball's home run king plans to contact all 30 major league clubs once again to determine whether there's a place for the slugger.
"I'm still not optimistic," agent Jeff Borris said Tuesday by telephone from spring training in Arizona.
The 44-year-old Bonds last played in 2007 with the San Francisco Giants. The Tampa Bay Rays toyed with the idea of signing Bonds for 2008, but he sat out while under indictment for lying to a federal grand jury when he testified he never knowingly used performance-enhancing drugs. Bonds has pleaded not guilty.
A seven-time NL MVP, Bonds has 762 home runs. A left fielder for most of his career, he also was a designated hitter in interleague games. Bonds is healthy and ready to play, Borris said.
"I would tell you that I don't think it's a very good fit for us right now," Minnesota general manager Bill Smith said. "We have five players for three outfield spots and a DH, and we like all five guys. It's just not a good fit for us."
Cincinnati GM Walt Jocketty said the team had not discussed Bonds. As for a return to Pittsburgh, where Bonds started his career, Pirates GM Neal Huntington said no.
"All things considered, the Pittsburgh Pirates would pass on a player even the caliber of Barry Bonds at this time. We're looking forward to building around our young players. We've got a good core that we feel good about, going forward," Huntington said.
Washington Nationals president Stan Kasten said the last-place team had other concerns in the wake of GM Jim Bowden's recent resignation.
"No, I'm looking for a GM," Kasten said.
Borris sought to find Bonds a spot last year, offering him at the major league minimum salary. Borris intends to make the rounds this year at camps in Arizona and Florida.
"I'm just doing my due diligence," Borris said.
The union and Major League Baseball agreed last year to extend the period for the filing of a collusion grievance until after Bonds' trial. Borris believes the clubs acted in concert against signing Bonds following the 2007 season.