(See New Update 7/18)
Embattled former Giants slugger Barry Bonds has entered into formal contract negotiations with the Yankees, and a consummation of the deal is anticipated forthwith, a confidential clubhouse source told MLBNewsOnline.com.
The incentive-laden deal, being hammered out between Bonds' agent Jeff Borris and general manager Brian Cashman, will well exceed the major league $200,000 minimum but has a number of protective clauses to isolate the Yankees' exposure to the possibility of Bonds missing time due to legal distractions or recurring injury, the source said. (And until he reports that Barry Bonds is climbing the Empire State Building and the Navy is dispatching biplanes, I'm sticking with my source.)
Cashman was reported to have arrived at the decision to sign Bonds during the All-Star break when he determined that the all-time home run leader would be needed to replace injured left fielder Hideki Matsui, who is out indefinely with a knee injury. Cashman was persuaded largely because the team will not have to sacrifice any coveted prospects who had been targeted by various other potential trading partners.
Bonds faces a perjury indictment but is not schedule for trial until March and Borris has assured the team that barring other unforeseen entanglements his client is unencumbered and ready to play.