Sammy Sosa hit 545 of his 609 career home runs as a Cub, won an MVP as a Cub in 1998 and was named to a total of seven All-Star games. All as a Cub.
Now the organization seemingly wants little to do with him, and he opened up to ChicagoMag.com on Monday about how it has affected his life after baseball.
Sosa’s name appears on an engraved stone outside of Wrigley Field and there is a flag on the roof of the stadium that pays tribute to the slugger’s record-breaking 66 home runs from 1998.
But Sosa would like his number retired, along with the other Cubs greats, and it’s currently being used by rookie outfielder Tyler Colvin.
“That number should be untouchable because of the things that I did for
that organization,” Sosa said. “That right there shows me that they
don’t care about me, and they don’t want to have a good relationship
The steroid era tainted the legacy of many of the last decade’s stars, but some have found a way to hug it out and be re-embraced. Mark McGwire owned up to using performance-enhancers this offseason in a teary interview with MLB Network’s Bob Costas and now he is serving as the hitting coach of the Cardinals. Jason Giambi apologized for his mistakes in 2005 and sends the Coors Field crowd into an uproar when he pinch-hits now in Colorado. Andy Pettitte has moved on, and is going to play a major role in the Yankees’ quest for a 28th World Series this October.
The path to forgiveness must start with an apology, and Sosa has yet to acknowledge that he deceived the Wrigley Field faithful in the 90s and early 2000s. He must come clean or the current feelings in Chicago and around the game of baseball are doubtful to change.
Update #2 (6:21 PM EST): Make that $37.5 million, per Heyman.
Update (6:02 PM EST): The deal is for “around” $37 million with deferrals that lower the present-day value, per Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports.
Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that free agent 1B/OF Mark Trumbo is close to a deal with the Orioles. He first reported that the two sides were back in touch earlier on Thursday afternoon. According to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, the deal is expected to be for three years and under $40 million.
Trumbo’s market hasn’t developed as he expected. The slugger turned down the Orioles’ $17.2 million qualifying offer back in November. Then the Orioles reportedly made a four-year contract offer to him in December but pulled it off the table. Most recently, a report indicated that Trumbo lowered his expectations to a three-year deal in the $40-50 million range.
Trumbo, 31, led the majors with 47 homers for the Orioles this past season. He also hit a solid .256/.316/.433 with 108 RBI in 667 plate appearances. With Trumbo back in the fold and some slight offensive upgrades made, the Orioles figure to have a formidable offense in 2017.
The Astros avoided arbitration with pitcher Mike Fiers, agreeing on a $3.45 million salary for the 2017 season, per Jake Kaplan of the Houston Chronicle. The right-hander was in his first of three years of arbitration eligibility.
Fiers, 31, made 30 starts and one relief appearance for the Astros in 2016. He finished the year with a 4.48 ERA and a 134/42 K/BB ratio in 168 2/3 innings.
Fiers had a much better showing in 2015 as well as in limited action in 2014, so the Astros are hoping he rediscovers that effectiveness going forward. He’ll slot into the back of the starting rotation.