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by alex ciepley
It's cold in New York. Almost as cold as the Cubs' rumor mill.
The Cubs seem to be playing a waiting game, with everything dependent on whether or not they can rid themselves part of Sosa's contract. Carrie Muskat, in her most recent mailbag, has a few words that imply as much:
Cubs general manager Jim Hendry did talk to Beltran's agent, Scott Boras, over the weekend in Anaheim. However, the Cubs cannot make a push for Beltran as long as they have Sammy Sosa under contract. Sosa is owed $17 million in 2005, and the team faces pay increases for six players (see next question about arbitration-eligible guys).
That the Cubs haven't even been making any small moves since the Nomar/Walker signings is interesting, I think. I imagine they really believe they can win the Beltran sweeps if they can free up a bit more money. Why else spend so much energy on the one task of dumping Sosa?
The longer the Cubs keep Sosa a priority, and the larger the volume of teams that remain interested in him, the more I think Sosa will actually be in another uniform sooner than later.
And if it's gonna happen, can it be sooner, please? I'd like to see a bit more action, and trying to sate myself with Grady Little promotions isn't working out too well.