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Say hey, baseball: Barry Bonds will file grievance against MLB for collusion

Tuesday morning's baseball includes a legend's upcoming lawsuit against MLB, the Rays' struggles, and the unlucky (but also lucky!) Giants. Subscribe for your daily Say Hey!

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

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Barry Bonds became a free agent after an incredible 2007, and word is that the 42-year-old agreed to play for the league-minimum if it meant he could keep on playing baseball. Instead, he received no offers whatsoever. The thought was that Major League Baseball had colluded against him by essentially blacklisting Bonds from the game. While this happened years ago, Bonds is now set to fight back after clearing his name for obstruction of justice charges. Bonds is going to sue MLB for collusion, and there is a decent chance he might actually win.

There are some issues that Craig Calcaterra brings up, such as the statue of limitations and that MLB can defend itself by claiming that teams independently came to the conclusion that Bonds wasn't worth the risk for legal reasons -- such as the eventual dropping of the Mitchell Report and Bonds' indictment by a grand jury. However, if Bonds can get some direct evidence or former front office types to testify in his favor, and can combine it with his final season's performance, then he might have a case here. That might not be difficult, either. Please remember the league was run by the same man who made it his mission to suspend A-Rod for 2014, even if he had to illegally acquire evidence to do so.

That 2007 season was historically significant. Bonds hit .276/.480/.565 with 28 homers and led the majors in on-base percentage and intentional walks again. His OPS+ was 169, the highest-ever for a 42-year-old with at least 400 plate appearances, with the next-best being Carlton Fisk's 134 OPS+ in 1990. Need more context? Mike Trout's career OPS+ is 167, the same as when he won the AL MVP in 2014. Bonds bested that, and did it with 20 years on Trout. There's just no way that any AL team could not have used the follow-up to that season at designated hitter in 2008, legal risks or no, and once Bonds gets someone in the know to say as much, MLB will be in trouble.

[Update 9:09 am]: Jon Heyman, who originally reported the Bonds' story, has switched the legal proceedings from a lawsuit to a grievance.


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