Soriano guaranteed suite on road in Cubs' deal

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

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.