Bonds' agent: Slugger ready for free agency

By Associated press
Published October 28, 2006

SAN FRANCISCO - Barry Bonds plans to file for free agency the first day he can, and no negotiations have taken place with the Giants about keeping the slugger in San Francisco.

The first time Bonds would be eligible to file is today, after the end of the World Series.

"The only thing that would stop Barry from filing for free agency would be if a deal was in place from the Giants," Bonds' agent, Jeff Borris, said Friday. "Since there has been no dialogue up to this point, I have no reason to believe he would do anything but file for free agency."

Under baseball's new collective bargaining agreement, a five-year deal reached Tuesday night, there is less of a time constraint on the Giants and Bonds to get something done on a contract.

The previous labor agreement mandated that if the Giants had not offered Bonds arbitration by Dec. 7, they would be unable to sign him until May 1.

Now the club can still negotiate with Bonds, 42, even if it doesn't offer him arbitration by the new Dec. 1 deadline.

While the agreement does buy San Francisco some time, Giants officials don't seem convinced they will have any better chance of re-signing Bonds for a 15th season.

Bochy chosen as Giants manager

Bruce Bochy concluded a whirlwind week with his introduction as San Francisco's manager. He agreed to a three-year contract worth roughly $6-million to replace Felipe Alou after working out details late Thursday.

Fittingly, Bochy's opening-day opponent in April will be the Padres, his employer the past 24 years.

Normally, MLB frowns upon such announcements during the World Series, but the Giants were excused because Bochy is set to leave Monday for Japan with an All-Star team.

Bochy, 51, who just finished his 12th season as the Padres' manager, led San Diego to back-to-back NL West titles and is the winningest manager in franchise history.

brewers: Jim Skaalen, Milwaukee's minor-league hitting coordinator since 2000, has been hired as batting coach.