CHICAGO–Well, no one can complain that the Cubs never sign the big free agents. Jim Hendry has reportedly signed Alfonso Soriano to the fifth-highest contract in Major League Baseball history ($135 million for 8 years), right behind Alex Rodriguez ($252 million for 10 years), Derek Jeter ($189 million for 10 years), Manny Ramirez ($160 million for eight years) and Todd Helton ($141.5 million for 11 years).

Put that back.  We canít afford any more of those.

Put that back. We can’t afford any more of those.

Soriano is listed as being 31 years old entering the 2007 season. After converting that number from Dominican Republic years, that puts him at 82 years old, making him 19 years older than manager Lou Piniella.

Provided that his hips can hold out, Soriano is expected to play center field and lead off for the Cubs, as Juan Pierre is expected to be on his way out.

The Cubs are expected to announce the signing later today, with Cubs president John McDonough fitting Soriano for a Cub-themed adult diaper.