Controversial Bonds finalizes deal with San Francisco after long wait

SAN FRANCISCO – Barry Bonds and the San Francisco Giants completed a $15.8 million, one-year contract last night after the slugger spent hours at the ballpark being examined by team doctors.

A baseball official confirmed the deal, speaking on condition of anonymity because the Giants had not yet announced it.

The contract was finalized nearly two months after the sides reached agreement on financial terms Dec.. 7, the final day of baseball’s winter meetings. Bonds had to pass a physical, and the parties had to work out complicated language regarding Bonds’ behavior and what would happen if the slugger were to be indicted.

A federal grand jury is investigating whether Bonds perjured himself when he testified in 2003 in the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative steroid distribution case that he hadn’t knowingly taken any performance-enhancing drugs.

Two baseball officials said the slugger’s trainers, Harvey Shields and Greg Oliver, would no longer be on the Giants’ payroll. That means neither will be allowed in the clubhouse where they previously had their own lockers next to Bonds’ space, or any other restricted area in any big league ballpark, the officials said. If they were to make road trips, it would be on Bonds’ dime or their own.

The two officials spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of such details in Bonds’ contract.

Bonds, who traveled to the Bay Area from his offseason home in Southern California, underwent X-rays and many other tests from multiple team doctors.

The seven-time NL MVP waved, yelled “hello, hello” and smiled as he left the stadium yesterday and then quickly drove away, with agent Jeff Borris in the passenger seat. Borris did not immediately return messages from The Associated Press.

The 42-year-old Bonds begins the 2007 season with 734 home runs, 22 from breaking Hank Aaron’s career record of 755.

Bonds can earn another $4.2 million in performance bonuses based on how much he plays. If he matches last year’s effort – 493 plate appearances, 130 games – he would receive the whole amount.

After missing all but 14 games in 2005 following three operations on his right knee, Bonds batted .270 with 26 homers and 77 RBIs and drew 115 walks last year. He passed Babe Ruth to move into second place on the career home run list on May 28.

But the Giants missed the playoffs for the third straight year, leaving Bonds no closer to the World Series ring he has always coveted.

Bonds, who is coming off surgery on his troublesome left elbow, has been deemed healthier by the team than last year at this time. And he wound up playing regularly in 2006.

A day after the season ended, owner Peter Magowan said Bonds would no longer be the centerpiece of the franchise if he played for the Giants in 2007, and then the club signed ace Barry Zito to a $126 million, seven-year contract earlier this month. San Francisco hosts the All-Star game this summer, and Bonds is certain to bring attention to the city leading up to the event.

Bonds filed for free agency and apparently drew interest from Oakland, St. Louis, San Diego and other teams.

He reportedly failed an amphetamines test last season. The New York Daily News said that when Bonds first learned of the result, he attributed it to a substance he took from teammate Mark Sweeney’s locker.

In a public statement, Bonds cleared Sweeney and said, “he did not give me anything whatsoever and has nothing to do with this matter.” Bonds didn’t address whether he took amphetamines.

Bonds, who has played 21 major league seasons, has repeatedly denied using performance-enhancing drugs.

Bonds has spent 14 years with San Francisco and helped the Giants draw 3 million fans in all seven seasons in their waterfront ballpark. He has long hoped to end his career with the team for which his late father, Bobby, and godfather, Willie Mays, once played.