Cubs add Mercker, Hollandsworth

Updated: December 18, 2003, 6:52 PM ET

CHICAGO -- The Chicago Cubs got the left-handed reliever they wanted Thursday, agreeing to a $1.2 million, one-year contract with Kent Mercker.

A few hours later they found a fourth outfielder, agreeing to a $1 million, one-year with Todd Hollandsworth.

"This fills some of our needs," Cubs general manager Jim Hendry said. "We're not done, hopefully, adding to the ballclub, but it does fill some of our prime concerns."

Solidifying the bullpen was one of Hendry's biggest priorities this winter, and he wasted little time getting it done. The Cubs signed LaTroy Hawkins earlier this month, and Mercker gives Chicago another left-handed setup man to go along with Mike Remlinger.

They also needed a fourth outfielder and some power off the bench. Hollandsworth can play all three outfield spots, as well as some first base, and his .350 average as a pinch hitter was third-best in the majors.

"I know we've got the makings of a pretty good ballclub," Hendry said. "And over the next few weeks, I'd like to add a few more pieces if we could."

Mercker had one of the best seasons of his career last year, finishing with a 1.95 ERA in 67 games for Cincinnati and Atlanta, the team that launched his career. Opponents hit just .227 against him, and he had a 10-inning scoreless streak from July 24 to Aug. 15.

The Braves traded for Mercker in August, hoping the man who helped them win four division championships and a World Series title could stabilize a shaky bullpen. He didn't disappoint, allowing just two earned runs in 17 innings as the Braves won their 12th straight division title.

Mercker made one appearance in Atlanta's division series against the Cubs, pitching a scoreless inning.

"We thought he was a good fit," Hendry said. "He's a veteran guy with good clubhouse presence, good makeup. We thought he'd be a good complement to Remlinger."

Mercker, 35, is a career 66-64 with 20 saves and a 4.27 ERA in parts of 14 seasons with Atlanta, Baltimore, Cleveland, Cincinnati, St. Louis, Boston, Anaheim and Colorado. A starter early in his career, he's worked solely out of the bullpen the last two seasons and has a 3.67 ERA as a reliever.

Mercker was part of some memorable moments during his first stint with Atlanta. In 1991, the year the Braves won the first of their string division titles, he teamed with Mark Wohlers and Alejandro Pena on the first combined no-hitter in National League history.

Three years later, in just the 12th start of his career, Mercker threw a no-hitter all by himself against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Hollandsworth hit .254 for the Florida Marlins last season, with half of his hits going for extra bases. He hit .500 in the playoffs, including going 3-for-3 with two RBIss against the Cubs in the NL championship series.

He's a career .276 hitter with 77 homers and 308 RBIss in nine seasons with Los Angeles, Colorado, Texas and Florida.

The Cubs also announced Thursday that they'd agreed to terms on minor league contracts with infielder Bill Selby and right-handers Jamey Wright and Gary Glover. All three were invited to spring training.

Wright is 51-69 with a 5.15 ERA in eight years in the majors. He spent most of last season in Triple-A, and was 1-2 with a 4.26 ERA in four games for Kansas City. Glover split last season between the White Sox and Anaheim, and is a career 14-13 with one save and a 5.00 ERA in five years.

Selby is a career .223 hitter with 11 homers and 48 RBIss in 198 games.

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