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Notes: Bonds-to-Rays rumor intrigues

Notes: Bonds-to-Rays rumor intrigues

ST. PETERSBURG -- What if the Rays indeed signed Barry Bonds?

That was the question swirling inside the Rays' clubhouse on Monday morning after a report in the St. Petersburg Times that the Rays have talked internally about the prospect of signing baseball's career leader in home runs.

"I guess it could be good," left fielder Carl Crawford said. "I just saw the reports on it today. I really don't know what to say about that whether it would be good or bad. One of those things where you just have to wait and see what happens."

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Thus far in the spring, the Rays' clubhouse has had no distractions. Bringing in Bonds obviously would change that.

"It would be a little different from the normal because it's Barry Bonds," Crawford said. "He carries that stuff with him everywhere. But, you know, if they were really serious about it, I'm sure we could adjust to it. It's Barry Bonds. Who wouldn't want to have him on their team?"

Veteran Troy Percival said he didn't see any problems with Bonds fitting in if he were to be signed.

"I don't see a problem with something like that," Percival said. "I get along with everyone. I've known Barry a long time and I've never had a problem with him. He's always treated me good. You know, whatever the front office thinks will make this team as good as it can possibly be, that's what you deal with.

"The biggest thing is dealing with the media circus that's going to follow. No offense to the media, but it's a circus that follows the guy, to have to deal with that, you know, so be it. You deal with what you get."

Crawford said he could see the Rays being interested in Bonds.

"With the way things are happening, they're really trying to get key ingredients to help the team win," Crawford said. "Anything's possible. It really doesn't surprise me they'd be doing something like this, because they'll try anything to get us to the next level."

And, it was called to Crawford's attention that having Bonds might attract more fans, a comment that prompted the Rays' left fielder to smile.

"Oh yeah, that too," Crawford said. "I forgot about that. I'm sure a lot of people want to come see Barry Bonds hit a home run."

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However, at this point, Bonds to Tampa Bay sounds as if it has little momentum.

"I know so little about this," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "A minor discussion was thrown out there a little bit and it really hasn't gone any further than that. That's all it is right now."

Added Andrew Friedman, Rays executive vice president of baseball operations: "It's a non-story."

Intrasquad action: The Rays will hold their first intrasquad game of the spring on Tuesday at 11 a.m. ET on Field 1 at the Raymond A. Naimoli Baseball Complex.

Tuesday's pitchers will be as follows: Team A -- Percival, Al Reyes, Grant Balfour, Edwin Jackson, Jason Hammel, Chris Mason, and Jake McGee; and Team B -- Scott Kazmir, Trever Miller, Dan Wheeler, Chad Orvella, Andy Sonnanstine, James Houser, and David Price.

Rocco Baldelli, Crawford, Cliff Floyd, Dioner Navarro, and Carlos Pena will not play until Wednesday's intrasquad tilt.

Wednesday's pitchers will be: Team A -- James Shields, Gary Glover, Scott Munter, J.P. Howell, Jeff Niemann and Calvin Medlock; and Team B -- Matt Garza, Scott Dohmann, Kurt Birkins, Jae Kuk Ryu, Mitch Talbot, and Wade Davis.

The teams will be managed by Davey Martinez, whose team will be known as "Martinez's Mud Dawgs" and Tom Foley, whose team will be "Foley's Feinsteins," named after Dan Feinstein, Rays director of baseball operations. Said Maddon: "We just have to get Danny out there a little more. He's in the background too often."

My dear constituents: Florida Gov. Charlie Crist will attend a Youth Baseball Clinic on Tuesday afternoon at 2:30 at Al Lang Field and will be joined by children from the Boys and Girls Club of the Suncoast, along with Baldelli, Ben Zobrist, and Wheeler of the Rays.

Signed and unsigned: The Rays came to terms with Joel Guzman, John Jaso, Zobrist and Jason Bartlett on Monday, leaving a handful of players without contracts. They include Andy Sonnanstine, Shawn Riggans, Jae Kuk Ryu, Willy Aybar, Scott Dohmann and B.J. Upton. If the club does not come to terms with the unsigned players --- who have three years or less of service time -- by March 1, their contracts will be automatically renewed.

This and that: Guzman is expected to be in camp on Tuesday, Willy Aybar is expected in on Wednesday, and there still is no word on Juan Salas. The trio has been experiencing visa problems. ... ABC News reporter Sam Donaldson will throw out the ceremonial first pitch prior to the Rays' home Spring Training opener in St. Petersburg vs. the Blue Jays on Saturday. Donaldson is in town to take part in a joint effort of the Rays and Moffitt Cancer Center called the Spring Swing-Moffitt's Sun Safety Tour. Donaldson, who is a melanoma survivor and chairman of Moffitt's board of advisors, will be hosting a reception outside of Gate 2 prior to the game that begins at 11 a.m. and runs until game time.

Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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