Dallas Without hitting even one more home run, Sammy Sosa may have taken another step away from the Chicago Cubs.
Alex Rodriguez's record-setting contract may lessen the possibility of Sosa compromising in his long-running contract saga.
Sosa, who has hit 179 homers over the last three seasons, believes he should be paid near the top of baseball's scale. He is to make $11 million in 2001 and $12 million in '02, assuming he accepts a mutual option for that season. Rodriguez will be paid $21 million next year and an average of $25.2 million over the next 10 years.
"I'm sure it's going to have an impact in this wayit moves the highest bar higher," Cubs President-General Manager Andy MacPhail said. "It very well could change the expectation of the player and his representative."
The Cubs offered a reported five-year, $79 million extension (including the existing 2001 contract). Sosa is believed to be seeking about $120 million over seven years.
Unlike Sosa, Rodriguez and Manny Ramirez were not anxious to sign extensions with their existing clubs. They risked injury and reduced performance and are being rewarded for their play in the final year of their deals.
MacPhail has made it clear that the Cubs are willing to allow Sosa to enter next season as a lame duck.