Alfonso Soriano Will End Contract Extension Discussions Today

February 18, 2011

(Mesa, AZ) – Chicago Cubs outfielder Alfonso Soriano has set today as the deadline for he and the Cubs to reach an agreement on a contract extension. Soriano, who reported to Spring Training today, says he doesn’t want his contract situation to be a distraction. The announcement of a deadline was a surprise to many, as Soriano will not be a free agent after the 2011 season.

Indeed, Soriano is currently signed to an exhorbitant deal that will pay him $18 million per year for the next four seasons

Soriano explained his decision early this morning to the one reporter who arrived to speak with him at HoHoKam Park.

“I just don’t want rumors and media attention about my contract extension to be a distraction this season,” Soriano said to no one in particular. “I’ll let my terrible outfield routes and maddeningly inconsistent performance at the plate be the distraction.”

The Cubs have yet to comment publicly on Soriano’s deadline, but insiders say the team is concerned that the deadline could scuttle plans to offer Soriano a restructured deal that would pay him $1 million the next three seasons, and $69 million in 2014, with a no-trade clause that would not only allow him to veto any trade, but also grants him a $150 million bonus in the event he accepts a trade.

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