Alfonso Soriano was taken by surprise Friday night when he learned there are still two years remaining on his contract with the Chicago Cubs.

“With free agency starting, I called my agent to see how the market for me was shaping up,” a shocked Soriano told reporters. “I couldn’t believe it when he told me I still had two years left. I mean, are you kidding me? Why in the world would they have given me an eight year contract?”

While he was happy to learn about the guaranteed income, he was perplexed by the Cubs’ front office.

“I can’t imagine the lack of foresight involved with making a decision like that,” he said. “And if you’ve seen my two-strike plate approach, you can tell I know all about a lack of foresight. I guess the only good thing you can say about it is that I’m probably not making very much money over these last two years.”

When a reporter informed him that he would in fact be making $19 million per season, Soriano’s jaw dropped.

“You’re joking. That’s one of the highest salaries in baseball. They know I’m 36, right? Did they not know how aging works when they offered me this thing?” He then laughed uncontrollably for an extended period of time.

“I’m sorry, I’m sorry,” Soriano said, regaining a semblance of composure. “It’s just too funny. I wish someone had told me before this past season. I wouldn’t have tried nearly as hard if I had known it wasn’t a contract year.”

When asked how this knowledge would affect his play in 2013, Soriano revealed that he will be resuming his trademark “hop” while catching fly balls, turning in a four-strikeout performance on opening day, and visiting the disabled list for three weeks in May in order to attend his cousin’s wedding in the Dominican Republic.

Jay R.