Purgatory Online

Thursday, August 25, 2005

A few months ago, I mentioned the possibility of Barry Bonds finishing his career as a DH with the Angels; this morning the speculation crops up again in the Times, which references a Sacramento Bee article reporting that Giants GM Peter Magowan has said he would explore the possibility of a trade with the Angels if Bonds requested one. So, at this point, the only obstacles are:

1. Bonds has to request a trade.
2. Magowan has to agree.
3. The Angels have to trade away some presumably pretty big talent.
4. Bonds's knee has to be healthy.
5. The Angels have to find $18 million to pay him.

Okay! Can we get him in time to put him on the postseason roster?

In all seriousness, it still looks like idle speculation at this point. However, for the sake of information, the Angels do figure to clear a fair bit of money off the payroll after this season. Tim Salmon's $9.75 million will be gone, as will Paul Byrd's $5 million. Depending on how chancy the Angels want to get with their rotation, they could go with a starting five of Colon-Escobar-Lackey-Santana-Saunders, which would have a price tag of about $20 million, compared to this year's $29 million Colon-Escobar-Washburn-Lackey-Byrd quintet. Bengie Molina will be a somewhat more difficult question; he's making just $3 million in this, his walk year, but is expected to look for a substantial raise in his new contract.

Of course, the Angels are going to get dinged pretty hard in raises for Figgins, Donnelly, and Shields, but in this particular case adding an $18 million player means quite a bit less than adding $18 million to the payroll.

Ultimately, the thing that worries me the most about this would be Bonds's notorious superstar persona conflicting with a clubhouse full of guys who have spent years in a team-first mentality. I can't imagine the Angels putting up with Bonds's special leather recliners and personal big-screen TVs and whatever other nonsense he gets away with in San Francisco, and I can't imagine Bonds developing the stolid, blue-collar approach to the media the Angels take - particularly given the national spotlight that will be on him next season.