Barry Bonds agreed to a one-year, $4.7-million contract with the Pittsburgh Pirates on Friday and left open the question of whether the outfielder will file for free agency after the season.
Bonds, who lost in salary arbitration the last two years, got the most lucrative one-year contract in baseball history, topping the $4.5-million Cecil Fielder got from the Detroit Tigers on Tuesday.
Bonds is seeking to top the $29-million, five-year contract Bobby Bonilla got when he left the Pirates last fall to sign with the New York Mets. Friday’s agreement left it unclear whether Pittsburgh would still attempt to sign Bonds to a multiyear contract. Pirate officials were unavailable and Bonds’ agent, Rod Wright, did not return calls.
Bonds batted .292 with 25 home runs and 116 runs batted in last season as Pittsburgh won its second consecutive National League East title. In six years with the Pirates, he has batted .269 with 142 home runs and 453 RBIs.
Also agreeing to one-year contracts:
Infielder Kevin Seitzer with the Kansas City Royals for $1.625 million, the same salary he made last season; outfielder Jim Eisenreich, who became a free agent last fall and then accepted the Royals’ offer of salary arbitration, split the difference and settled at $1.65 million, an increase of $700,000; relief pitcher Norm Charlton with the Cincinnati Reds at $1.1 million, an increase of $475,000, shortstop Jeff Blauser with the Atlanta Braves at $925,000, an increase of $645,000, and first baseman Ricky Jordan with the Philadelphia Phillies at $660,000, an increase of $410,000.