The latest speculation going around has the Tampa Bay Rays adding all-time HR leader, Barry Bonds, to their line-up as DH. Whether Joe Sheehan of Baseball Prospectus or Tim Marchman of the NY Sun writing it, there is consensus building that Bonds would make the Rays a darkhorse wildcard contender.
The question whether the team should is twofold. One, you believe the assumptions upon which that contention is made, and, two, whether the Rays want to sign the most radiocative free agent hitter available.
Despite being a stats fan, I'm a little leery of any predictions of the future. I still wasn't sold on the Rays reaching the .500 record predicted by PECOTA, much less building upon that to add Bonds and get into wildcard contetion. If it were that easy, why doesn't every team just add Bonds?
As Yankees fan, I don't want to see Bonds and his .400+ OBP stuck in the middle of that line-up. Breaking in Phil Hughes, Ian Kennedy and Joba Chamberlain would be difficult enough with 18 games against the Red Sox, but now adding another 18 against the Rays' suddenly fearsome line-up would be too much.
A baseball fan, though, I'd love to see the Rays sign Bonds. While the NL has had two decades to see the game's all-time HR hitter, AL fans have not had the luxury of doing so. I can't be the only person willing to make a weekend out of travelling to Baltimore to see the Rays and Orioles' play in the hope Bonds adds to his HR record am I?
Maybe most important (well, not more so the the chance to witness history in the making), but important nonetheless, is the chance to use one's waiver priority to claim Bonds. He is not in the Yahoo! draft pool, and I doubt any player will become available in mixed leagues who could be expected to match Bonds' HR production.