Market thinning out for Bonds
Slugger meets with Giants officials at Winter Meetings
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Barry Bonds went to Disney World on Wednesday and what he discovered may not be so enchanting. The universe of teams that seemed to be interested in the free-agent left fielder as little as two weeks ago is shrinking, perhaps leaving only one standing: his once-beloved Giants.Bonds was purportedly meeting with various unidentified club officials as the next-to-last day of the Winter Meetings unfolded. But he had already returned home to Los Angeles on Wednesday night and did not attend what was perhaps the biggest meeting of the day: a three-hour evening session between his agent, Jeff Borris, and the Giants. And that might not have been the end of it. Near midnight ET, Borris said his day's work may not be over. "I'm waiting on another call from [Giants general manager Brian] Sabean," said Borris, who declined to comment on his meetings with other clubs Wednesday. "I could be going back up there again." The meetings with the Giants now seem to be getting down to the nitty gritty, which is a good thing. The Padres, A's and Orioles, all teams supposedly once talking with Borris, no longer seemed to be interested in Bonds. "I don't think we've considered it," said Mike Flanagan, the Orioles' executive vice president of baseball operations, who said his club didn't meet with Bonds on Wednesday. "I just don't see us getting to that end result at this point." The A's, whose owner Lew Wolff said only two weeks ago that Oakland could be a Bonds destination, have gone in another direction, several sources said. Indeed, on Wednesday, the A's agreed in principle to sign Mike Piazza as their designated hitter, replacing the departed Frank Thomas. The Padres, who are on the cusp of spending $16.5 million guaranteed over the next two years on veteran right-hander Greg Maddux, are also out of the running. Asked Wednesday if the Padres were still in the chase for Bonds, Sandy Alderson, the team's chief executive, simply said: "No." Cardinals officials said they had no intention of meeting with Bonds. Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti and Angels GM Bill Stoneman previously said their clubs had no interest in the lefty-swinging slugger. Stoneman reiterated that position Wednesday, effectively wiping out the California coast. Save for the Giants. And they went on to other business Wednesday, signing veteran catcher Bengie Molina as expected to a three-year contract.
Barry M. Bloom is a national reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.