ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP)—The Tampa Bay Rays have had internal discussions about the prospect of pursuing Barry Bonds.
Manager Joe Maddon said Monday he knew “little” about what was going on, but acknowledged some thought has been given to the career home-run leader.
“A minor discussion was thrown out there a little bit, and it’s really not gone any further than that,” Maddon said after Monday’s workout at the team’s spring training facility. “That’s all it is right now.”
The St. Petersburg Times reported in Monday’s editions that team officials have conferred among themselves about Bonds and other veteran unsigned free agents, such as Kenny Lofton and Mike Piazza. Andrew Friedman, Rays vice president of baseball operations, called the report a “non-story.”
Bonds, who broke Henry Aaron’s career home run record last summer, has pleaded not guilty to perjury and obstruction of justice charges stemming from testimony to a federal grand jury in 2003 in which he said he never knowingly used performance-enhancing drugs.
Maddon shrugged off a question about how Bonds might fit in with the Rays if the team decided to pursue him and ultimately added him to the roster.
“It’s hard to conjecture. … I don’t know this man. I only know what I read, and I’m very much open to meeting people and drawing my own conclusions about people. I don’t necessarily believe everything that I read,” Maddon said.
“For me to create conjecture of what it’s going to be like, I really don’t want to go there right now. … So many things are going good right now. If I have to face those moments, I’ll do it at the appropriate time. But for right now, it’s really about nothing.”