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Sources: Sosa to stay in MLB

by Stephen Ellsesser

Although Sammy Sosa does not have a home for next season, he likely won’t be playing in Japan, according to unnamed Major League Baseball sources.

The power-hitting outfielder has no intentions of coming to Japan, although he has received offers from at least two Japanese teams.

Sosa wants to remain in the major leagues and would use the Japanese offers only for leverage in negotiations with MLB squads, the sources said.

Sosa’s agent, Adam Katz, declined to comment, saying he didn’t discuss negotiations, “especially this one.” Sosa became a free agent after the Baltimore Orioles declined his option for 2006.

Sosa batted .221 and hit 14 home runs for the Orioles in 2005, earning $17.9 million.

Sosa has 588 career homers, and according to reports in the U.S. media, he wants to pass 600 and try to repair his tarnished image.

The Washington Nationals have been in discussions with Sosa’s representation, but he could have to attend spring training as a non-roster invitee, a huge step down for the once-revered slugger.