Cubs hire Maddux as assistant to GM

The Chicago Cubs announced that they have signed future Hall of Famer Greg Maddux as an assistant to general manager Jim Hendry, confirming an earlier ESPNChicago.com report.

"We are thrilled to have Greg back with the Chicago Cubs," Hendry said in a statement. "He has such a vast knowledge of all phases of the game and the ultimate respect of everyone from the players to the front office. The addition of Greg Maddux makes us a better organization."

Maddux will help with instruction for major leaguers and minor leaguers during spring training, and he will scout throughout the season.

"I'm looking forward to working my way back into the game and am happy that the Cubs have given me the opportunity to do that," Maddux said in a statement. "I started my career with the Cubs, and Chicago has always been the best place in the league to play. I'm eager to do whatever I can to help the organization, and am looking forward to getting started at spring training."

Maddux will be at Hendry's disposal to evaluate minor league affiliates and to provide input on trades or potential free-agent signings.

"I'm just going to do what I can to learn how both sides of the game work this year and then kind of make a decision after that," Maddux said when asked if his new job would be a stepping stone to other baseball opportunities.

He said he doesn't currently have a hankering to manage, he's just trying to slowly get back into the game, even though he's only been out for a year.

"I'm grateful for the opportunity and looking forward to learning things about the game that I never thought I had to learn, and at the same time trying to pass down what I've learned the last 20 years to the players that are going to play hopefully for the next 20 years."

Maddux retired after the 2008 season with the San Diego Padres. A four-time Cy Young Award winner, the right-hander had two stints with the Cubs.

Maddux came up through the Cubs organization and made his major league debut in 1986. He left as a free agent in 1993 after winning his first Cy Young in 1992. From '93 to 2003, Maddux pitched for the Atlanta Braves, who made the playoffs every season with Maddux.

He returned to the Cubs in 2004 and was traded at the tail end of the 2006 season to the Dodgers for shortstop Cesar Izturis. Maddux won his 300th game as a Cub in 2005.

Bruce Levine covers baseball for ESPNChicago.com. Information from The Associated Press contributed to this report.