Cubs making biggest splash 

November, 19, 2006
There is no question about which team has jumped out and made the biggest bang. The Cubs signed second baseman Mark DeRosa, re-signed Aramis Ramirez, re-signed Kerry Wood and now have agreed to pay Alfonso Soriano eight years and $136 million, pending a physical Monday or Tuesday.

"Soriano's agents [SFX, led by Fern Cuza] said they wanted [Carlos] Beltran money," said one club executive. "Well, they did better than that. But I'm not surprised. Justin Speier's people started out looking for Bobby Howry money (three years, $12M) and got four years and $18 million from the Angels. What a market."

The Cubs do not yet know where Soriano will play. It could be any of the three outfield positions, and they know -- working with the Nationals -- he became an exceptional outfielder whose throwing arm makes him a rarity. The $136M is more than they shelled out to keep Derrek Lee and Ramirez, but those players made it clear they wanted to remain in Chicago.