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What To Make of Sosa Demand

[February 13th] -- At first blush, Sammy Sosa's demand for a guaranteed $1 million dollar contract seems contrived.

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

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.

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