Will Yanks buy Bonds? Slugger on the table at team meeting

Updated: July 25, 2008, 2:21 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

TAMPA, Fla. -- Barry Bonds in pinstripes? If nothing else, the New York Yankees talked about it.

But it remains "highly, highly, highly unlikely," according to a source, that the team would actually pursue the controversial slugger, according to ESPN The Magazine's Buster Olney.

High-ranking Yankees officials gathered for meetings at their spring training complex Thursday, a day off for the team before it begins an important three-game series Friday night in Boston.

Missing injured sluggers Hideki Matsui and Jorge Posada, the Yankees discussed ways to improve for the stretch run as next Thursday's trade deadline approaches. After a three-hour meeting, co-chairman Hank Steinbrenner confirmed that one of the topics was the indicted home run king.

"We covered everything, including Bonds," Steinbrenner said.

Steinbrenner wouldn't say if the Yankees are interested in Bonds, but it appears unlikely the team will pursue him -- partly because it's so late in the season. The slugger, who turned 44 on Thursday, became a free agent when the San Francisco Giants did not bring him back this season.

A day before the All-Star Game at Yankee Stadium last week, Bonds' agent, Jeff Borris, said the seven-time MVP had not received a single offer.

Borris previously said Bonds would be willing to play for a prorated share of the $390,000 minimum and donate his salary to buy tickets for kids.

In addition to Hank Steinbrenner, his brother, co-chairman Hal Steinbrenner, president Randy Levine, general manager Brian Cashman, special adviser Gene Michael and senior vice president of baseball operations Mark Newman were among those at the meetings.

Matsui has been on the disabled list since June 23 with a balky knee that could require season-ending surgery. Posada could also be looking at surgery for his right shoulder, after an MRI exam showed fraying in the tendons around the labrum.

Both are trying to rehab, and their progress over the next week could go a long way toward helping the club decide what moves to make before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline.

Hank Steinbrenner declined to get into specifics about potential trades, but said "there's a couple things that might be promising."

New York already added first baseman Richie Sexson, who was released by Seattle.

The Yankees have won six straight since the All-Star break. They began Thursday 3 games behind AL East-leading Tampa Bay.

"We're playing great. That's the key thing," Hank Steinbrenner said. "Considering we're not 100 percent because of the injuries, it's pretty impressive. Where we can add, we'll look into it."

Among the players the Yankees are thought to be looking at are San Francisco catcher Bengie Molina, Colorado left-hander Brian Fuentes, Pittsburgh lefty Damaso Marte and Seattle starter Jarrod Washburn.

Molina is the brother of Yankees catcher Jose Molina, who is getting most of the playing time behind the plate following Posada's injury.

ESPN The Magazine's Buster Olney and The Associated Press contributed to this report.