Vowing that “no organization’s going to beat us when it comes to asinine signings,” the Cubs have announced that they have demanded an extension to Alfonso Soriano’s contract.
GM Jim Hendry said the club “had to act” in the wake of the Nationals recent signing of Jayson Werth to a seven-year, $126 million deal and the Red Sox shelling out to Carl Crawford $142 million for seven years. “The money and number of years behind those deals are totally stupid, but adding another three years to Soriano’s contract is way, way stupider.”
Soriano has four years and $72 million remaining on his current deal, but the Cubs are insisting on adding three years and $64 million to it, meaning they’ll have paid Soriano a total of $200 million by the time the deal ends in 2017. Soriano will be 41 at that point, about 14 years past his productivity peak.
Soriano’s new deal marks just the second time a Major League contract will eclipse $200 million. The other contract virtually ruined the club that offered it.
“The Rangers paid A-Rod $250 million and it eventually forced them into bankruptcy,” said Hendry. “Even if we overpaid by $140 million we can always say we were most likely the first to do it and avoid the complete financial collapse of our franchise.”
Baseball statistics wizard Bill James verified Hendry’s claim, noting that the original Soriano contract was “one of the three of four most idiotic free agents signings in the history of the game, but the extension clearly vaults it to the top.”