Soriano guaranteed suite on road in Cubs' deal

Updated: November 28, 2006, 5:22 PM ET
Associated Press

CHICAGO -- Alfonso Soriano will be paid $18 million annually in the final five years of his $136 million, eight-year contract with the Chicago Cubs, the fifth-richest contract in baseball history.

On The Up And Up
Alfonso Soriano

Alfonso Soriano has ascended offensively the last three years. A look at some of the categories in which the five-tool player, who this year posted only the fourth 40-40 season in Major League Baseball history, has climbed since 2004:

  2004 2005 2006
Hits 170 171 179
Runs 77 102 119
HRs 28 38 46
Steals 18 30 41
OPS .808 .821 .911

Soriano's deal gives him a complete no-trade provision and guarantees a suite on Cubs road trips, according to contract information obtained by The Associated Press. In addition, Soriano is guaranteed six premium tickets for each home game during spring training, regular season and the postseason -- and for the All-Star Game if he is selected.

Soriano receives an $8 million signing bonus and will get a $9 million salary next season. His salary increases to $13 million in 2008 and $16 million in 2009, then goes up to $18 million from 2010-2014. Soriano, who turns 31 in January, will be 38 in the final year of the deal.

There are also plenty of incentives for the five-time All-Star, who will be the Cubs leadoff hitter. He gets $250,000 for collecting most All Star votes, $350,000 if he is selected the World Series MVP, $250,000 for the league championship series MVP, $300,000 for the MVP award and $75,000 for a Gold Glove.

As another provision, Soriano will donate $25,000 annually to United Way and $25,000 annually to Cubs Care foundation.

Soriano said last week that he also plans to ask the Cubs for permission to play for his hometown team in the Dominican Republic winter team.

Soriano is slotted to be one of the Cubs outfielders, although which spot has not been determined. But he also said during an interview in the Dominican Republic he would be willing to go back to second base, where he played most of his career before he was switched to the outfield last season with the Washington Nationals.

"I know that Chicago already has Mark DeRosa at second base, but if they want me to play second, I will," he said.

Cubs general manager Jim Hendry said earlier this week he'd wait to talk to Soriano in person before commenting on his desire to play winter ball. Soriano is expected to have an introductory news conference this week at Wrigley Field.

Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press