SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Don Fehr, executive director of the Major League Baseball Players Association, indicated Friday that the union is close to concluding its review of why some veteran free agents, including former Giants slugger Barry Bonds, have not been signed yet this spring. "I don't think it'll take too much longer. But not in the next few days," Fehr said after visiting the Giants' camp as part of his annual Spring Training tour of all 30 clubs. Bonds, baseball's all-time home run leader, remains unemployed despite hitting .276 last year, with 28 home runs, 66 RBIs, a Major League-high 132 walks, a .565 slugging percentage and a .480 on-base percentage. The Giants announced last Sept. 21 that they would not re-sign Bonds for 2008.
Bonds, 43, also was indicted last November on four counts of perjury and one count of obstruction of justice, resulting from his 2003 testimony before a grand jury regarding his alleged performance-enhancing drug use. Fehr did not address the Bonds issue specifically: "I have nothing to say about any individual case and we haven't reached any conclusions. When and if we do, people will know. But we're not there yet." Fehr emphasized that his staff still must determine whether further investigation is necessary or if ballclubs violated the Basic Agreement. "It's unusual that you would have the numbers of veteran players that aren't signed," Fehr said. "But we have to do more work before we can reach conclusions about that."
Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.