WASHINGTON, D.C. – Barry Bonds would love to play in Arizona and could be ready to join a major league team soon after the All-Star break, agent Jeff Borris said Wednesday, but the Diamondbacks still appear an unlikely landing spot.
Borris said the D-Backs have shown no interest in Bonds in their many talks since Bonds’ contract with San Francisco expired after the 2007 season, and D-Backs sources said that after internal conversations that stance has not changed.
The sides have had no contact since Eric Byrnes’ season-ending hamstring injury July 1, last speaking about a month ago when Borris attended a D-Backs’ game.
“I’ve had numerous conversations with Diamondbacks’ officials ever since Barry became a free agent, and they’ve never had any interest in him,” Borris said.
“We never discussed dollars. They just said it wasn’t a good fit.”
D-Backs general manager Josh Byrnes would not discuss Bonds specifically Wednesday, but he did say any changes the team might make -- and it would center on offense -- would come through a trade, not a free agent signing.
“If we do something offensively, whose at-bats are we replacing?” Byrnes said.
“We would do something that makes sense, not something just to do it.”
Borris said he has no plans to speak to D-Backs’ officials in the near future, although he said they likely would cross paths at the All-Star Game next week in New York.
“I think it would be a perfect fit, and Barry would love to play there,” Borris said.
“He loves the team he played in Arizona (at Arizona State), and all those years he spent in spring training in Arizona.”
Bonds has maintained his workout regimen despite not playing this season, Borris said.
“Barry works out year-round. He could be ready to go in a week to 10 days,” Borris said.
Some believe teams shied away from Bonds this winter because he has been connected with the use of illegal performance enhancing drugs in baseball, allegations leveled in the book “Game of Shadows,” published before the 2006 season.
Bonds, 44 on July 24, holds the major league record with 762 career home runs and set the season record, 73, in 1998.
He has 19 home runs in 196 at-bats at Chase Field, with a .321 batting average and a 1.210 OPS.
“He is the smartest hitter I’ve ever seen,” former major league All-Star Mark Grace said.
The D-Backs have lost Byrnes to a left hamstring injury and were told Tuesday that he likely would miss the rest of the season, even if he opts to undergo rehabilitation rather than surgery.