The amount of money owed Sosa on his contract is so much that a trade is impossible unless the Cubs agree to pick up the majority of it.
Sosa is due $17.5 million in 2005. He has an $18 million option for 2006. That option has a $4.5 million buyout and a $3.5 million termination fee.
There's also a clause in Sosa's deal that guarantees his 2006 deal if he is traded and registers a $19 million option for 2007 -- with the same $4.5 million buyout and $3.5 million termination fee.
In other words, if Sosa is traded he will be owed a minimum of $43.5 million over two seasons.
The Players' Association might be willing to waive the trade clause in the deal. But even if that concession gets made, Sosa would be owed
a minimum of $25.5 million for 2005. Sosa would likely want to be compensated for giving up the option. Figure at least $5 million.
The Cubs are believed to be willing to eat $8 million. The Mets would presumably trade Cliff Floyd to Chicago. Floyd is owed $6.5 million over each of the next two seasons.
That still leaves a significant gap. In addition, Sosa's production has steadily declined in recent seasons, and he has developed a sour attitude.
Earlier this week, GM Omar Minaya and Mets officials gathered Wednesday in suburban Westchester County, N.Y. to discuss the pursuit of Sosa and free agent starter Pedro Martinez.