Today, it was announced that the SF Giants would sign Barry Bonds for $16 million base and earn up to $20 mil for one search. Given that Bonds seemed to have no other place to go, various writers in the SJ Merc and SF Chronicle are talking about how crazy it seems.
And it does seem crazy except for one thing. The Giants do need Bonds more than he needs them. A comment from a good friend and season ticket holder gave the answer - personal seat licenses and a big price increase. The 7 year personal seat licenses for season ticket holders are up. They have a choice of either renewing for some ridiculous rate + the game package or a much higher per game ticket price.
By keeping Bonds, the Giants are more likely to get the renewals and keep cash flows going before Bonds leaves.
Why not pay less like $7 mil? Well even if Bonds accepted it from the Giants, he would probably be unhappy and spread that around the clubhouse. That would wreck the season and turn off the fans. So Magowan had no choice but pay extra, get the big personal seat license and season ticket renewals, and then let Bonds go after the season.
I'm sure Bond's agent knew a little bit about this as well...