Sammy Sosa Traded to Baltimore Orioles

Cubs close in on trading Sosa to O’s (ESPN)

Chicago Cubs outfielder Sammy Sosa will be traded to the Baltimore Orioles for infielder Jerry Hairston and at least two minor-leaguers, pending physicals and approval from commissioner Bud Selig and the players’ association. An Orioles source told ESPN’s Tim Kurkjian that the only way the trade will not happen is if someone fails a physical.

A source told’s Jerry Crasnick the Cubs will be responsible for about $10 million of Sosa’s $17 million contract in 2005. The Associated Press reported sources said Sosa would agree to void his salary in 2006. Sosa’s contract gives the Cubs an $18 million option in 2006 with a $4.5 million buyout. But the contract says that if he is traded, his 2006 salary would become guaranteed and a 2007 club option would be added at $19 million with a $4.5 million buyout. The players’ association had told Sosa’s agent, Adam Katz, several weeks ago that voiding the option would not be a problem.

Sosa trade rumors have been floating for some time now, with his ridiculously high salary the major obstacle. Why Sosa would agree to go to the lowly Orioles is beyond me, let alone why the Cubs would be willing to pay $10 million not to have Sosa around. Indeed, from a pure “baseball” standpoint, I’m not sure why the Orioles would pay $7 million for prima donna no-field outfielder who is not even a shadow of his former self. From a business standpoint, it makes sense, though as Sosa is probably worth $7 million in publicity. Of course, he’d be worth that to the Cubs, too….

Jeff Quinton and David Pinto (here and here) have more.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. David Pinto says:

    Thanks for the link!

  2. Tig says:

    I stil think he was worth more than having Harold Baines for the worst year of his career.

  3. Jim Henley says:

    Butts in seats. Angelos wants Washingtonians to keep driving up I95 and stay off the Metro, Destination: Stadium-Armory. The problem is, I think people LIKE Sosa a lot less than they used to, so I’m not sure what kind of draw he’ll be.

  4. Jim Henley says:

    Realistically, Marylanders more than “Washingtonians” as such.

  5. dw says:

    Indeed, from a pure “baseball” standpoint, I’m not sure why the Orioles would pay $7 million for prima donna no-field outfielder who is not even a shadow of his former self.

    Because $7M is a bargain for a guy whose conservative projections have him with 20-25 HRs and just below .850 OPS.

    Consider this:
    The Mariners are paying Richie Sexson $10M/year for what is projected to be less production
    The Marlins are paying Carlos Delgado $13M/year for about 90% more production

    If you’re only paying $7M for a guy whose production numbers would pull $11M in the FA market, you’re getting a bargain. It’s worth Jerry Hairston Jr to pick it up, too.

  6. HOLY. CRAP.

    THIS is unexpected. Until this weekend, all the Orioles fans I know were complaining that management wasn’t getting ANY talent this off season. Should be interesting to hear what Baltimorians think of this trade.