Barry Bonds is refusing to sign a revised contract with the San Francisco Giants after Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig rejected the deal over a personal appearance clause.
The controversial slugger, with links to the BALCO steroid scandal, needs only 22 home runs next season to break Hank Aaron's all-time US mark of 755. But the 42-year-old outfielder has not yet finalized a deal.
The New York Daily News, citing a commissioner's office source, reported on Thursday that the Bonds-Giants deal, a one-year pact worth 15.8 million dollars, was rejected because an appearance clause did not match league policy.
Jeff Borris, Bonds' agent, told the News that Bonds has not signed off on the new deal, saying: "At this time, Barry is not signing the new documents."
Bonds agreed to financial terms with the Giants in December but did not sign a contract until Monday, in part because he will no longer be allowed to have trainers unassociated with the team in the locker room or clubhouse.
The most controversial clause in the deal is language that allows the Giants to drop Bonds if he is indicted on perjury or tax evasion charges.
A federal grand jury in San Francisco is considering charges on both issues based upon Bonds' testimony in the BALCO steroid case, in which the slugger said that he never knowingly used performance-enhancing drugs.
But the News reported that baseball's players union views the Giants' safeguard clauses as unenforceable under the union's contract with the league and would likely challenge any move by the Giants to dump Bonds if he were indicted.