PEORIA, Ariz. -- Scratch the notion of Barry Bonds ever playing for the Mariners. "No, absolutely not," Mariners chief executive officer Howard Lincoln said Friday morning when asked if he could imagine any scenario coming up during the 2008 season that would create an interest in signing the free-agent outfielder and Major League's all-time home-run king. "No. No. No." Lincoln wouldn't go into detail, but he left no doubt that if the Mariners are going to compete for their first playoff appearance since the 116-win season in 2001, Bonds will not be asked to come aboard.
Not now, not in June, not anytime. With about a week remaining in Spring Training, Bonds still is unsigned, but he and his agent, Jeff Borris, still believe there should be a job somewhere for the controversial 43-year-old slugger. Bonds, MLB's all-time leader with 762 homers, hit 28 of them last season, when he also walked 132 times and amassed a .480 on-base percentage in 126 games. "I'm not going to retire. I don't think that's going to happen," Bonds told MLB.com earlier this week. "I'm working out, I'm training." Bonds, who is fighting federal perjury charges, presumably would be best suited for a designated-hitting job for an American League team. But not with the Mariners, who have switch-hitter Jose Vidro locked into that role heading into the regular season. The government maintains Bonds lied in 2003 when he told a federal grand jury investigating the BALCO nutrition lab he had never knowingly used performance-enhancing drugs. Bonds has pleaded not guilty.
Jim Street is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.