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by alex ciepley
Did I just read that correctly? Check this out from a new AP report:
Baltimore would pay just $5 million of Sosa's $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 Sosa's contract, which must be given to the seven-time All-Star within 30 days after the trade is finalized.
In exchange for Sammy Sosa, the Cubs are getting a middling second baseman who will be asked to produce like a left fielder and two aging sorta-prospects who are redundant within the Cubs system. But they must be saving money, right?
Well, they are. They're saving a whopping total of... $1.5M. Sosa's $17M salary, minus the $12M they're 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!