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Barry Bonds Reveals How Close He Was to Joining Yankees

Imagine living in a world where a prime Barry Bonds spurned the Giants for the opportunity to wear the iconic Yankees’ pinstripes.

According to the MLB legend, New York had a real chance to make that outlandish scenario a reality back in the ’90s.

Bonds shared the eyebrow-raising story on ESPN’s KayRod simulcast during the Yankees’ matchup against the Red Sox on Sunday Night Baseball. Speaking with hosts Michael Kay and Alex Rodriguez and fellow guest Roger Clemens, the 14-time All-Star revealed he considered the Yankees, albeit for a brief moment, after Kay asked if the deal was close to happening when Bonds was a free agent in 1992.

“It was very close, for about 15 or 20 minutes,” Bonds said. “Because, what happened was, and I tell people the true story, the Yankees offered me the same contract I think Ryne Sandberg had at the same time, or a little bit more than that. And, unfortunately, they said you have until 2 o’clock this afternoon to make a decision and my agent said, ‘I’ll get back to you about it.’”

Startled by New York’s urgent timeline, Bonds said he then went to grab lunch, thinking to himself, “Wow, that was kind of strange,” but insisted he thought nothing else of it. But, as luck would have it, Bonds’s agent called him back shortly thereafter to tell him a better offer had come across the table.

“By the time I got to the place to get something to eat, my agent called me back and the San Francisco Giants offered a higher contract and I said, ‘This is great, I want to go home.’” 

That deal, of course, ended up being a then-record six-year, $43.75 million contract for Bonds, a native of Riverside, Calif. to join the Giants. And the rest, as they say, is history.

Although Yankees and Giants fans will never know how the pairing would’ve turned out, Bonds’s story offered an interesting glimpse behind the scenes into a story many likely never knew. Not to mention, the 58-year-old’s version of events also differs from the story widely reported at the time. 

According to the New York Times, the Yankees withdrew a four-year, $36 million offer after talks broke down with the then-Pirates star. New York gave Bonds, who sought a lucrative six-year deal worth $40-plus million, two days to accept but the negotiations ended after he and his agent pushed for a guaranteed sixth year. 

Needless to say, Sunday’s revelation will likely leave many fans questioning what could’ve been had the eventual seven-time NL MVP joined the Yankees during an era that saw the club win three World Series.

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