Posted at 10:16 AM on December 4, 2006
by Ben Tesch
Bonds Is a Big Bargain for the Right Team
And who apparently is the right team? The kind of team that needs a decent starting left fielder, is able to make the playoffs, wants an added source of revenue, has seats it needs to fill, and has room in the payroll.
Guess who fits that description? The Minnesota Twins. I was thinking about the possibility of this topic earlier this year, and thought it made quite a bit of sense. Maybe only "business" sense, but that's obviously a big factor in baseball. Bonds would raise attention, revenue, and (most likely) wins. Why not?
Although the idea is interesting, I really don't think he's perfect for the Twins. Whenever I look at the Twins, especially last year, I really saw them as a team. When you I look at most clubs (mostly big budget teams), I really see more of a collection of players. Bonds doesn't strike me as a player who wants to feels he has to work with the rest of the team.
It might make some sense as a business, but I don't really think Bonds has the "team attitude" that has made the Twins an effective ball club and a fantastic team to watch.
It's well documented that he is clubhouse poison, so I would agree that this "perfect fit" only applies to the Twins as a business organization. If you're looking for a lot of attention, and the money and attendance that comes with it, Bonds is your man.
I'm not so sure I would say Bonds would raise wins. The "clubhouse poison" others mention would be the marginal loss to offset the marginal win.
Also, let's not forget that big elephant in the room. He's under a lot of scrutiny. Would he continue with his steroid regimen while here? If not, he merely brings more long fly balls, not more home runs. If he does continue his steroid regimen, how many younger careers will he ruin along the way.
I'm basing the "raising wins" argument on the projected numbers stated by the Baseball Prospectus analyst mentioned in the article. He could obviously be a complete bust and not contribute anything, but his history and projections would mean he would "improve any team without a starting-caliber left fielder by about five wins (or four and a half if he is squandered as a full-time designated hitter)."
Barry would be a great addition to this team, but we see already that Carl Pohlad / Twins are not going to make a significant addition to this team. Talks are underway to bring back Brad Raddke and Rondel White, same old Carl. So much for all the talk about getting a new stadium and being able to put a better product on the field; it is time to open up the purse strings and actually pursue some talent that will help this team get out of the first round of the playoffs.