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Bonds to return to the Giants, 1 yr/$16M


Apparently prepared to leave the Bay Area, free agent Barry Bonds has instead agreed in principle to stay with the San Franciso Giants, reported Thursday night.

The Giants were reportedly one of several teams bidding to sign the seven-time NL MVP. But reported that the slugger will re-sign with the Giants in a one-year deal expected to be worth $16 million, pending a physical.

Bonds has 734 home runs and is 22 from breaking Hank Aaron's career record. He has played 14 seasons for the Giants and is coming off a $90 million, five-year contract.

Bonds missed nearly the entire 2005 season after three operations on his right knee, prompting speculation on whether he was almost done. But the left fielder bounced back this year to play 130 games, hitting .270 with 26 homers and 77 RBI.

Shadowed by allegations of steroid use and a target of boo-birds in many opposing parks, Bonds has remained a fan favorite in the Bay Area. He has been tied to the Giants by family and history -- his dad, Bobby, was a popular player with the team; his godfather, Willie Mays, is regarded as the greatest Giant of them all.

A seven-time NL MVP, a 13-time All-Star and an eight-time Gold Glove winner, Bonds has stolen more than 500 bases and is baseball's all-time leaders in walks.