Sammy Sosa isn't expected to make a quick decision on the one-year offer extended to him by the Washington Nationals this week, according to sources familiar with the negotiations. Sosa is expected to take until at least this weekend and possibly longer.
It also wouldn't be surprising if Sosa is mulling retirement as an option. He's now 37. He has dealt with a variety of health issues. And he would have to take a major pay cut if he accepts the Nationals' offer, which almost certainly is for less than $2 million a year.
Nationals GM Jim Bowden is expected to talk with Sosa's agent, Adam Katz, before the end of the week. But there have been no indications Sosa is close to any decision.
While several other teams have kicked the tires on Sosa, the Nationals have been by far the most interested and the most aggressive in trying to sign him. They originally offered him only a minor-league contract with an invitation to spring training. But the Nationals now are offering a non-guaranteed, incentive-laden major league contract to Sosa, assistant general manager Tony Siegle said Wednesday.
The state of the Washington outfield is unsettled, given Alfonso Soriano's disinterest in playing left, right fielder Jose Guillen's slow recovery from shoulder surgery and the trade of center fielder Brad Wilkerson to Texas (for Soriano). So Sosa would at least have an opportunity to play. And any opportunity to play is an opportunity to write a better final chapter to his career than the injury-riddled 14-homer season he had in Baltimore last year.
Meanwhile, the Nationals on Wednesday agreed to an $850,000, one-year contract with Matthew LeCroy, who gives the team depth at catcher and first base.
LeCroy hit .263 with 58 home runs and 209 RBI in 430 games over six seasons with Minnesota. He batted .260 with 17 home runs and 50 RBI last season and had a career-high .354 on-base percentage.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.