CHICAGO - LaTroy Hawkins, one of baseball's premier
setup men last season with the Minnesota Twins, reportedly is
set to sign with the Chicago Cubs.
ESPN Radio 1000 reported Tuesday night that Hawkins has agreed
to a three-year contract worth $11.2 million that could escalate
to $15 million if certain incentives are met.
A team spokesman would not comment on the report, which said the
deal could be announced as early as Wednesday.
It would be a homecoming of sorts for Hawkins, who grew up in
nearby Gary, Indiana.
A righthander who turns 31 later this month, Hawkins emerged as
one of baseball's best relievers the last two seasons. In 2003,
he was 9-3 with two saves and a 1.86 ERA in 74 appearances.
Last year, the converted closer went 6-0 with a 2.13 ERA in 65
Hawkins could close or set up at Wrigley Field, where Joe
Borowski was 2-2 with 33 saves and a 2.63 ERA in 68 games in his
first season as closer.
Signing Hawkins would be the second major offseason move for the
Cubs, who acquired first baseman Derrek Lee from Florida since
losing to the Marlins in seven games in the National League