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Cubs to Respond With Maddux?

Discussion in 'Houston Astros' started by wrath_of_khan, Jan 13, 2004.

  1. wrath_of_khan

    wrath_of_khan Contributing Member

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    This would be kind of a wet blanket ...

    But I guess you can't just expect the Cubs to fold up and go home. They'll be tough.

    http://www.suntimes.com/output/baseball/cst-spt-rocket13.html


    Sales pitches hit NL Central

    January 13, 2004

    BY MIKE KILEY Staff Reporter

    The Houston Astros upped the ante in the National League Central on Monday by signing 41-year-old Roger Clemens for his powerful right arm and emotional spark.

    The Cubs might raise the Astros right back in a high-stakes showdown by signing 37-year-old Greg Maddux for his pinpoint precision and pitching wisdom.

    The scratching and clawing by both clubs to get their hands on these future Hall of Famers is proof of a heightened sense of urgency in both cities to win the World Series.

    Considering the Cubs won the NL Central by one game over the Astros last year, any kind of edge can tip the balance. The signing of Clemens, who ended his brief retirement to bolster his hometown Astros and reteam with former New York Yankees buddy Andy Pettitte, could be countered if Maddux returns to the team that let him slip away in a money dispute after the 1992 season. He went on to anchor the Atlanta Braves' perennial playoff contenders from 1993 to 2003.

    "Who wouldn't want Greg on their team?'' Cubs general manager Jim Hendry said Monday. "We always have been interested in Greg, and we have expressed that interest to him. Hopefully he will consider coming back to where he started.''

    Those were Hendry's first public comments about Maddux that weren't couched in caution. Breaking his silence is a glimpse at how far the Cubs have come in the Maddux talks. Hendry acknowledged with reservations last week that the situation was changing. It was evident then that the Cubs were getting more serious about Maddux with his agent, Scott Boras, while persuading Boras that free-agent catcher Pudge Rodriguez isn't in their plans.

    The Cubs haven't made a formal contract offer to Maddux, but look for one to be tendered this week. They are willing to dangle a two-year deal in front of Maddux, who turns 38 in April. But reaching an agreement will depend on how much money he demands and how many other clubs are genuine suitors.

    Reports have had Maddux, who earned $14.75 million with the Braves last season, desiring as much as $10 million a year as a free agent. The San Diego Padres expressed early interest before deciding his contract needs were too rich for their resources.

    Even more interesting, St. Louis Cardinals officials recently have downplayed their likelihood to sign Maddux because of his high cost. The Cardinals will have to decide now whether to reconsider with the Cubs making a strong bid and the Astros adding Clemens to a rotation that also has Pettitte, Roy Oswalt and Wade Miller.

    "I have a lot to give,'' Clemens said in Houston. "When I get into that dugout, I'm going to be excited to get back to work. We want to get to that final step and make some memories together.''

    Clemens agreed to a one-year, $5 million deal with $3.5 million deferred without interest until 2006. He can earn an additional $1.4 million based on attendance: $200,000 for each 100,000 fans over 2.8 million, up to 3.4 million. The Astros drew 2.45 million fans last year at Minute Maid Park.

    "His charisma, character and credibility are all going to take this franchise to a new level,'' Astros general manager Gerry Hunsicker said. "Throughout history, this franchise has always been looked on as the underdog.''

    Of course, the Cubs' underdog status is even more established, at least before manager Dusty Baker led them to the verge of the 2003 World Series, only to lose Games 6 and 7 of the National League Championship Series to the Florida Marlins.

    While neither Maddux nor Clemens is the pitcher he once was, Maddux was 16-11 for the Braves last season with a 3.96 ERA. With 289 career victories, he would be seeking No. 300 this year.

    Clemens, who won his 300th game last season, earned World Series rings with the 1999 and 2000 Yankees, then retired after the Marlins beat the Yankees last October. His 4,099 strikeouts rank third all-time behind Nolan Ryan (5,714) and Steve Carlton (4,136).

    Clemens joked during his news conference at Minute Maid Park that the Astros need to push back the fences on a field better suited for hitting than pitching.

    Hendry had said previously that he was locked into a 2004 payroll budget of about $85 million. Committing as much as $7 million to $8 million a year for Maddux in a two-year package would be further proof that Tribune Co. is willing to be flexible after getting a sniff of the World Series last year.

    Maddux likely would slot in at No. 3 in the rotation behind Mark Prior and Kerry Wood and ahead of Carlos Zambrano and Matt Clement. But what a rotation that would be.

    "It's not a surprise,'' Hendry said of Clemens signing with the Cubs' division rival. "It was something we assumed was going to happen. With everything he has done and his leadership qualities, he is going to help their club.''

    So would Maddux, who left some unfinished business in Chicago. More than a decade after they parted, he and the Cubs are possibly on a path to reunion.
     
  2. The Real Shady

    The Real Shady Contributing Member

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    Oh crap. Maddux please go somewhere else.
     
  3. Joshfast

    Joshfast "We're all gonna die" - Billy Sole
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    I second that. This is like the cold war arms race.
     
  4. Deckard

    Deckard Blade Runner
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    I third that. Please sign with a team in another division... pretty please??
     
  5. benchmoochie

    benchmoochie Contributing Member

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    That would be hilarious if McLane thought "what the F, I'll sign Maddux too". he's a good # 5 starter.
     
  6. wrath_of_khan

    wrath_of_khan Contributing Member

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    When did the NL (Comedy) Central become the AL East ...

    I'm just glad it seems to be a down year for the Cards.

    In fact, I think I'd rather Maddux sign with the Cards ...
     
  7. rockets-#1

    rockets-#1 Contributing Member

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    Anywhere but the Cubs!
     
  8. Oski2005

    Oski2005 Contributing Member

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    Damn, we need to add another bat.
     
  9. AMS

    AMS Contributing Member

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    trade tim and jero mee for a better pitcher. 2 for 1
     
  10. redgoose

    redgoose Contributing Member

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    I don't see it happening. You have to remeber Scott Boras is Maddux's agent. Don't expect any Chicago discounts. I'd be willing to bet te hold up isn't just the money, but Boras wants a 3rd year added to the deal.
     
  11. Rule0001

    Rule0001 Contributing Member

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    The cubs might have the edge pitching if they sign maddux, but I think we still have a very legitimate shot of winning due in part to our offense; which is better than the cubs in my opinion.
     
  12. lalala902102001

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    I don't think the Cubs can afford Maddux. Remember Boras is still his agent.

    I won't believe it until I see it.
     
  13. UTweezer

    UTweezer Contributing Member

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    how about we don't sign maddux and we save that money and use it to re-sign Oswalt and Miller
     
  14. eric.81

    eric.81 Contributing Member

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    I praying that Boras screws the Cubs like he's screwed every other team in the league. I'm not too worried about Maddux's performance (I see him as a 12-13 game winner next year) but I think the emotional/publicity lift he'll give the Cubs would be devestating to the Astros big plans this offseason.

    I think the biggest plus about having Clemens is the attitude everyone will have with him in our staff. I think the same could happen to the Cubs should they get Maddux.
     
  15. rrj_gamz

    rrj_gamz Contributing Member

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    Especially if we're about to unload Dalgy...:(
     
  16. Rocketman95

    Rocketman95 Hangout Boy

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    Who is Dalgy?

    And where are we going to unload him?
     
  17. ArtV

    ArtV Contributing Member

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    Another blub from fanball.


    Cubs: Offer made to Maddux

    by Fanball Staff - Fanball.com
    Wednesday, January 14, 2004

    News
    The Chicago Cubs have offered free agent pitcher Greg Maddux a two-year deal worth between $14 and $15 million, the Chicago Tribune reported. General manager Jim Hendry did not comment on the report, but sources told the Tribune that Maddux's agent, Scott Boras, was mulling over the offer on Tuesday night. Maddux was seeking a two-year, $20 million deal. Boras has said many teams have made offers, but he hasn't named them. New York Newsday reported that the Mets have dropped out of the running for Maddux, and general manager Jim Duquette said that he expects the former Braves' ace to sign with a team close to his home in Las Vegas.
     
  18. Austin70

    Austin70 Contributing Member

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    LOL, it's funny that almost every time they mention Doggy, some one calls him Dalgy.
     
  19. bobrek

    bobrek Politics belong in the D & D

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    You're fighting a losing battle. :)

    There was a reprt in the Chronicle this morning speculating that Hidalgo may be sent to the Dodgers.
     
  20. Rocketman95

    Rocketman95 Hangout Boy

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    Yeah, I just saw that. I don't like that at all.
     

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