There were confirmed reports from Cardinals camp today that manager Tony La Russa was quietly lobbying for Barry Bonds. Spring Training games start this week and the home run king still remains a free agent. There has been little interest in the 43 year old slugger, as an investigation continues with possible perjury charges hanging overhead.
La Russa discussed the notion with his coaching staff, where he received a mixed response, then took the idea to general manager John Mozeliak.
“When you look at somebody dangerous to hit behind Albert, Barry was the guy I thought of,” said La Russa. “For whatever reason, at the general manager or ownership level, they didn’t agree.”
Barry Bonds doesn’t fit into the plans of Cardinal team trying to get younger. Certainly he would be asking for more than the club would be willing to pay, and would take away precious at-bats from the young outfielders already in camp.
Personally, I’m not a big fan of Bonds. However, I think he was one of the best baseball players of my generation. Bonds has always carried an intimidating bat. His on-base percentage is one of the greatest, and combined with his power potential, it’s hard to imagine him not yet having a team for the upcoming campaign. Unfortunately, Barry’s bat is the only part of his game that is still attractive to teams. A National League team like the Redbirds would have to stick him in right field, where he would be a defensive liability.
Although it’s fun to speculate the production of a lineup that includes Pujols, Bonds, Troy Glaus, Chris Duncan, and Rick Ankiel, the reality is that it just doesn’t make sense for the ballclub. Joe Strauss and Jeff Gordon have more on the story.