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Sammy Sosa may retire rather than earn job in spring training

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ESPN.com cites a source close to Sammy Sosa who says the aging slugger is contemplating retirement rather than accept the non-guaranteed, $500,000 offer from the Nationals.

"Sammy wants to get to 600 home runs, but he's not willing to humiliate himself to keep playing. He feels that the lack of interest in his services this winter constitutes a humiliation," added the source.

Although the team has not set a deadline for a decision by Sosa, the Nationals would like to have the situation resolved before pitchers and catchers report to spring training on February 18. Washington originally only offered a minor league contract, with an invitation to spring training.

Sosa is taking his time to mull the decision, consulting with family and friends. Some have encouraged him to continue playing, while others have suggested he leave baseball.

Sosa, 37, was released by the Orioles after a disappointing 2005, when he hit .221 with 14 home runs and 45 RBI in 102 games.

With 588 home runs, Sosa needs just 12 to reach 600 -- but considering his dismal performance last year, that's hardly a piece of cake, especially if he's playing half of his games at RFK Stadium. If he does sign with the Nationals (which is apparently his only option, since no other team has publicly expressed interest), be very hesitant to draft him any earlier than the last couple of rounds. He's a shell of the player he once was, and at 37, the odds of a bounce back season are extremely slim.

Source: Sosa would rather retire than 'beg for a spot [ESPN]