Barry Bonds might not be sitting out Spring Training too much longer. Tampa Bay Manager Joe Madden admitted recently that the Rays have had internal discussions about pursuing Bonds to play for the Rays in 2008. We will go through the positives, the negatives and of course dissect all of the Fantasy Implications.
Positive- The Rays get a patient hitter in the middle of their line up, that the rest of the young line up can learn from. The Rays have a very formidable offense now, but they strikeout too often and draw enough walks, not often enough. Having a guy like Bonds in the lineup could really help some of the younger hitters to be more selective when going to plate, in an attempt to draw more walks.
The Rays line up with Bonds would probably look something like this:
- 2B Akinori Iwamura
- LF Carl Crawford
- CF B.J. Upton
- DH Barry Bonds
- 1B Carlos Pena
- RF Rocco Baldelli/Cliff Floyd
- 3B Evan Longoria
- C Dioner Navarro
- SS Jason Bartlett
It was pretty clear that with the trade of Delmon Young and Elijah Dukes the Rays were trying to rid themselves of some of the bad apples they had in their system. Bringing in a guy like Bonds would bring back all the negative media attention they had from last season and then some.
This is a best case scenario for Bonds. He would be going to an A.L. team where he would be allowed to DH, as well going into one of the best lineups he has played in, in his entire career. His protection would be 1B Carlos Pena, who clubbed 46HR last season and had 121RBI. Hitting in front of him would be Carl Crawford and B.J. Upton, two young speedsters also have a decent amount of pop and would thrive having a guy like Bonds to protect them in the lineup.
If Bonds signs with Tampa Bay, think you should expect 30HR, and 100RBI. If he was just going to be a DH with a decent team it would be one thing. But he is going to have a lot of protection around him and would also be giving protection to Tampa's young core of studs.
Bonds will go in the middle rounds if this deal happens, and he would be worth it there. Infact, he might even be a bargan there