Millar's road

The Cubs will announce later this week that they have signed veteran Kevin Millar to a minor-league contract.

Millar will have to try to beat out the like of Chad Tracy and Micah Hoffpauir for a backup role off of the North Siders' bench. The wily veteran plays third and first base and has some outfielder experience as well. One of Millar's best friends in baseball is Cubs pitcher Ryan Dempster. The two played together with the Florida Marlins.

Making the 25-man roster will be a challenge for the personable Millar. His best quality maybe the clubhouse presence that he brings to a team. Many of the players on the 2004 red sox credit Millar with keeping all-star outfielder Manny Ramirez loose during Boston's run when they won their first world series title in 86 years.

Millar is an above-average hitter against left-handed pitching, although his defensive skills and base running are below average. Millar was initially signed by Cubs scout Stan Zielinski to his first contract with the Marlins.

An announcement on Millar's minor-league deal with the Cubs could come within the next few days.