What To Make of Sosa Demand
And it is.
The Nationals have offered a non-guaranteed, $500,000 contract, to which Bowden has flatly stated several times "We're done." So why the "$1 million or bust" demand from Sosa agent Adam Katz Sunday night? Well, let's look at a few possible scenarios
- In a world without steroids and cork, Sammy Sosa realizes that his tank is "empty" and he doesn't have the skills or stamina (or perhaps even the desire) to return to major league baseball for an 18th season and will use the "disrespectful nature" of the Nationals' offer as cover to end his career with dignity.
- Sammy Sosa really wants to play another year to avenge both his honor and his horrible year in Baltimore. He and Adam Katz have thrown out the "million dollar demand" as a negotiating tool, and probably are only seeking to have the contract guaranteed (even at $500,000).
- Sammy Sosa believes that he is able to answer the bell and play in 2006, but truly believes that accepting a $500,000 non-guaranteed deal is beneath him and is willing to end his career on a sour note rather than play for the pittance the Nationals are offering.
Of those three, the "negotiation" scenario seems the most likely. Sosa wants to sign and his ego demands that he prove he is still a top-caliber major league player, but he doesn't want to be chided by his friends and fans for accepting a "non guaranteed" deal. And to some extent, I agree with him. Sammy Sosa has earned the respect of major league baseball to come to spring training with a guaranteed contract. A $500,000 guaranteed contract, not the $1 million he demands. If his abilities remain, the multiple incentives embedded within the contract will make the squabble over guaranteed money insignificant. I think he's holding out for a modicum of respect, a bread crumb so to speak. Fine. Give him the bread crumb. But only 500,000 of them.
The truth can now be revealed. Jamey Carroll was sold to the Colorado Rockies in anticipation of providing Sosa with a guaranteed contract in the $500,000 to $600,000 range.
Well, maybe not.
It's been my experience that public pronouncements during negotiations are little more than bluster designed to reach the fans. Any real demands would have remained private and never been revealed until after the negotiations were either successful or had failed.
Will Sosa be a National? I haven't a clue. Stay tuned.