Chicago Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts said on Wednesday that the team has no plans to bring back Sammy Sosa.
Sosa, who spent 13 seasons with the Cubs from 1992-2004 but had his legacy marred by being linked to performance-enhancing drugs, has had essentially no public relationship with the team since his retirement in 2009.
"Nothing really new on Sammy," Ricketts told reporters at the club's spring training complex in Mesa, Ariz. "Nothing’s really changed or new to report.
"I've always said Sammy was a great player. Regardless of anything else, he was a great player. But at this point, nothing new to report."
Ricketts' statements came a day after the Cubs announced the hiring of Manny Ramirez and Kevin Youkilis as consultants. Ramirez's only links to the Cubs are his brief stint with the Triple A Iowa Cubs last May and his relationship with president of baseball operations Theo Epstein from their time with the Boston Red Sox. Youkilis has no previous relationship with the Cubs.
Ramirez was suspended twice during his 19-year playing career for reasons related to performance-enhancing drugs.
Over his 18 MLB seasons, Sosa hit 609 home runs, placing him eighth on the all-time list. In 1998, he and then St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Mark McGwire drew national attention for pursuing and eventually eclipsing Roger Maris' single-season record of 61 home runs.
In 2009, the New York Times reported Sosa was among a number of players who tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs in 2003. Sosa had said at a 2005 public hearing before Congress that he had "never taken illegal performance-enhancing drugs."
Before last season, reports suggested the Cubs first wanted Sosa to make amends with the club before considering a return of some sort.
- Mike Fiammetta