All cranky on Saturday morning, Ben writes
So what’s going through the minds of New York media hacks who seriously think Sammy Sosa can’t wait to play in Shea? Ken Davidoff’s Newsday column is as retarded as Mike Lupica’s a week ago on Sammy. The average Cub fan “hates” Sosa like Barry Bonds is supposedly the most hated man in baseball. Keep this in mind: Sammy has trade approval. Do people think the Mets will give Sammy MORE money than the Cubs? Will they somehow convince him that the Mets will make the playoffs this season? Do they think this is A-Rod 2005? Sammy is supposed to take a multi-million dollar pay cut to hang out with Minaya? Why doesn’t he just hire him as his personal trainer and keep the money? Meanwhile, Sammy’s own agent (and Moises Alou) are downplaying Sammy’s problems with Dusty Baker, backpedaling from asking MLB for leeway in Sammy’s options, and Sammy himself hasn’t shot off his mouth in nearly a month about it. He’s currently in Paris where he has a better chance of playing next year than New York. Jeeziz, even the pizza’s better in Chicago.
Ben, I hope you would agree that the Daily News’ Adam Rubin is very much a member of the New York media. The following is from his column on Thanksgiving day.
Faced with a large financial gap with the Cubs, Mets insiders portray the chances of obtaining the 36-year-old slugger as increasingly unlikely. The pessimism comes despite the apparent willingness of the players’ association to allow Sosa to waive a clause in his contract that guarantees his 2006 salary if he’s traded.
The Cubs, who want to unload Sosa, owe the slugger $17.5 million in 2005, with an option for `06 of $18 million that can be bought out for $4.5 million. If Sosa is traded, the contract automatically kicks in for `06, and a $19 million option for `07 with the same buyout going into effect. Either way, there’s also a $3.5 million termination fee on top of the buyout.
While the Cubs are believed to be willing to eat the $8 million buyout and termination fee, there still would be a roughly $4.5 million gap between Sosa’s `05 salary and the money owed to Cliff Floyd during the final two years of his contract. Floyd, midway through a four-year, $26 million deal, is the logical choice to be shipped to Wrigley Field in a Sosa swap. Sosa likely would want compensation for waiving his clause, also undermining a deal.