The Associated Press
SAN FRANCISCO -- Barry Bonds is up for bids and on the open market.
The slugger filed for free agency Saturday, an expected move as he prepares to test the waters and determine what teams might have interest -- and whether San Francisco will step up to try to keep him in a Giants uniform as he tries to break Hank Aaron's home run record next season.
"A lot of players are somewhat nervous or apprehensive about becoming free agents because of all the uncertainty," Bonds' agent, Jeff Borris, told The Associated Press on Saturday. "Barry has nerves of steel. That's also evident in the way he plays baseball."
Bonds, Oakland's Frank Thomas and the Los Angeles Dodgers' Nomar Garciaparra headed 59 players who filed for free agency Saturday on the first possible day.
Five players filed from the New York Mets: outfielders Cliff Floyd and Ricky Ledee, pitchers Orlando Hernandez and Steve Trachsel and shortstop Chris Woodward.
Five players also filed from Philadelphia -- catcher Mike Lieberthal and pitchers Arthur Rhodes, Rick White, Randy Wolf and Aaron Fultz -- along with five from San Diego.
Approximately 200 players are eligible to file for free agency by the Nov. 11 deadline. Under new rules this offseason, free agents do not face any deadlines to re-sign with their former teams.
Oakland pitcher Barry Zito and Washington's Alfonso Soriano also are among the biggest names available in this year's free-agent class.
Borris and the Giants have not had any official talks since the season ended about beginning negotiations on a new contract for Bonds, whose $90 million, five-year contract is up.
It was thought such conversations might happen almost immediately, but the Giants decided not to renew the contract of fourth-year manager Felipe Alou and said their first order of business was hiring Alou's replacement.
Bruce Bochy became San Francisco's new skipper Friday, and making a decision about Bonds and 10 other potential free agents will be next on general manager Brian Sabean's to-do list.
"He's not the only guy who will file for free agency, so we treat it as a formality," Sabean said Saturday of Bonds. "It's part of the process, no big deal."
Bonds is 22 homers from breaking Aaron's record of 755, but his health and off-field issues may cause some teams to shy away from signing him.