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Sunday, January 30, 2005

More Sammy

Just want to point out that the Sosa trade I talked about in a previous post is not yet official. It awaits approval from the BS himself (Bud Selig, MLB [de]commissioner), and is also contingent on the players involved passing physicals.

Also, despite my guessing in the final paragraph of that post, there are not yet any actual hard details on how much of Sosa's contract the Cubs will pick up if the deal goes through so we don't yet know what kind of dollars the Orioles intend to bet on Sammy putting more asses in Camden seats (thanks to Off WIng Opinion for that link to Baseball Savant). An ESPN story has this

Reports say the Cubs will pay $12.5 million of the $25 million Sosa would be owed in salary for this season and for buyout and severance costs in 2006.

Sosa isn't even asking for an extension, either, meaning he'd be eligible for free agency after the season unless the Orioles propose a new deal.

While MLB.com says

Sosa was to be paid $17 million this year, and the Cubs have an $18 million option for 2006 with a $4.5 million buyout. If Sosa was traded, his 2006 salary became guaranteed, which had been a stumbling block for teams interested in acquiring him.

There were reports that Sosa was willing to void the 2006 portion of his contract, which would require approval from the Players Association. The Cubs also were believed to be willing to pay a portion of Sosa's 2005 contract.
So it's possible that the O's are just looking at a one-year fling with Sammy. That's the best scenario for them as a team. I still don't understand why they'd make this deal, though, except to make a publicity splash as the Baseball Savant says. But I still don't think the return they'll get is enough to justify the cost of that splash.


update: Although exactly how much the O's and the Cubs each intend to pay Sosa in '05 is still unclear, Ivy Chat has this to say about what Sammy's giving up to go to Baltimore

Sosa has agreed to waive the clause of his contract that causes the 2006 option year, at $18 million, to automatically vest in the event of a trade. He gave up $13.5 million to leave Chicago. As it stands right now, Sosa is a free agent at the end of 2005.
Hmm, this is looking like a better and better deal for everybody. If the O's don't want to keep Sosa after the season but do have the guts to offer him arbitration and some other team signs him they could end up with two draft picks in '06 for him. Even if they don't offer arbitration, they get to take the gamble that he'll have one last real good year and keep the turnstiles turning.

Meanwhile the Cubs shed some salary, leaving them within budget, as Ivy Chat also points out, and able to look at signing and/or trading for another outfielder or two. Of the three mentioned, Aubrey Huff and Magglio Ordonez (if he's healthy) would be great choicess. Between them they'd be about a (prime) Sosa and a half. If the choice ends up being Jeromy Burnitz ... well, Cub fans should run screaming from Wrigley Field in protest.

6 comments:

Humble Servant said...

My ninja was a true believer, kept the faith, bought the T shirt. You should have heard him as apologist for the cork thing.

He took the picture down Saturday night, no regrets, no comments.

Anonymous said...

second attempt

Humble Servant said...

That prior comment was mine too--thought I broke your blog for a bit there.:)

MackJohnny said...

(Better luck next with the vandalism)

Maybe the Cubs will bring Magglio Ordonez across town, who's apparently a much nicer all-around guy, to replace Sosa and your ninja will get a glimpse of another facet of the game.

Humble Servant said...

I'm afraid I'm on a need to know only basis with baseball players (other than my own personal ninja's teammates)--I could say, "Who is this Magglio Ordonez of whom you speak?" but I don't want to imply that I would care about the answer or anything.;)

MackJohnny said...

That attitude will save you a lot of glassy-eyed staring into the distance.