SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Despite an ongoing contract hassle, the Giants expect Barry Bonds to be in camp next week and his agent on Thursday said nothing to dissuade that notion. "Barry has never been late in his 22 seasons as a Major League player and I don't expect him to be late this year," Jeff Borris, Bonds' agent, told MLB.com. Giants general manager Brian Sabean told a gaggle of reporters Wednesday that he expected the left fielder to be in attendance when all the position players report on Monday. The first full-squad workout is slated for Tuesday morning.
"I expect him to be here by reporting day," Sabean said after pitchers and catchers arrived at Scottsdale Stadium. Asked for more details, Sabean demurred. "That's all I'm prepared to say at this point," he said. "One question, one answer." A Giants spokesman, though, emphatically said that Bonds has not signed the one-year, $15.8 million contract that has been in question for more than two months. Bonds also still hasn't been formally placed on the team's 40-man roster. Bonds, 42, goes into the season with 734 home runs, 21 behind Hank Aaron, MLB's all-time leader at 755. By rules of the Basic Agreement, no player has to appear prior to March 1, but rarely does a player avail himself of that date. The Giants open their Cactus League schedule March 1 against the Cubs in nearby Mesa. Bonds has been working out and taking regular batting practice near his home in the Los Angeles area. He said recently that he is in "great shape" and that he is fully recovered from surgery on his left elbow that was performed after the close of last season and the three surgeries on his right knee that restricted him to only 14 games in 2005. Last year, he played in 130 games, tied for the club lead with 26 homers, led the National League with 115 walks and the Major Leagues with a .454 on-base percentage. The early reporting dates are purely voluntary and are never challenged by the Players Association. Still, a player wouldn't be considered "late" under terms of the Basic Agreement unless he fails to arrive -- without permission -- by March 1.
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.