Baltimore would pay just $5 million of Sosas $17 million salary this year, with the Cubs paying $12 million. The Orioles would assume responsibility for the 2006 option, which Baltimore would be able to buy out for $4.5 million.
In addition, Chicago would remain responsible for the $3.5 million severance pay called for in Sosas contract, which must be given to the seven-time All-Star within 30 days after the trade is finalized.
The Cub Reporter does the math...
Well, they are. Theyre saving a whopping total of
$1.5M. Sosas $17M salary, minus the $12M theyre giving Baltimore, minus the $3.5M severance pay. $1.5M! The only real financial advantage for the Cubs is that they owe Sosa absolutely zippo for 2006 (as opposed to $4.5M), but feel free to snicker whenever you hear that this deal allows the Cubs any meaningful financial flexibility. $1.5M!
Factor in Hairston's $1.8 to $2.0 million, and poof their goes the $1.5 million savings. Sure the Cubs are off the hook for 2006, but was a savings of $4.5 million in 2006 really worth it? This team still has to sign an OFer for this year. Whether it be Burnitz or Magglio or some mystery guy in a trade, it would still be a hell of a lot better to pair that guy along Sosa than what we are currently stuck with. Either way this team will still pay the same amount of cash this season. No financial flexibility what so ever to free up money to sign players this season. Wasn't that supposed to be the whole point of moving Sosa?
The Sosa deal is much like what the Pirates did with Am-ram, and the Marlins did with Lee. Salary dumps in exchange for questionable, low grade talent. Except in those cases, those teams actually cleared off payroll. The Cubs didn't. I thought super genius GM's like Hendry was better than the Pirates and Marlins GM. Maybe Hendry needs to take a trip to Milwaukee or Pittsburgh and have a class in how to perform a salary dump properly. Just goes to show, Hendry still has his training wheels on when it comes to the off-season.
Hey maybe Sosa will fail the physical to prevent this deal from going down. Now that would an interesting week in the blog world.