Hawkins agrees to sign with Cubs

Updated: December 2, 2003, 9:57 PM ET

NEW YORK -- The Chicago Cubs picked up a key bridge to closer Joe Borowski, agreeing Tuesday to $11 million, three-year contract with hard-throwing right-hander LaTroy Hawkins.

Minnesota general manager Terry Ryan, who had been trying to re-sign the reliever, said he was informed Tuesday night of the decision by Hawkins' agent, Larry Reynolds.

The Cubs and Reynolds declined comment.

"We were certainly hoping to bring him back," Ryan said. "Obviously, he got security. It sounds like he got dollars. I could never fault a player for taking a deal that sets him up. I feel horrible about losing him. But I'm satisfied he's going to a place he wants to be. Unfortunately, it's not here."

Hawkins, who turns 31 later this month, was 9-3 with a 1.86 ERA in 77 1-3 innings and made $3 million in the option year of what originally was a two-year contract.

Hawkins was especially impressive in the opener of the playoffs against the New York Yankees, striking out four over two innings and getting the victory.

Chicago, which lost to Florida in the NL championship series, had a solid left-handed setup man in Mike Remlinger last season, but used both Antonio Alfonseca and Kyle Farnsworth from the right side. Alfonseca filed for free agency after the World Series.

Ryan was constricted by the Twins' limited financial resources.

"I had some other things I had to do before I could move on him," Ryan said. "I always thought we were in it, but whether I could get it done and clear some space was unclear."

The agreement was first reported on the Web site of the Star Tribune in Minneapolis.

This story is from ESPN.com's automated news wire. Wire index

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