Maddux mulling Cubs' two-year offer

CHICAGO -- The Chicago Cubs would like Greg Maddux to finish
where he started.

The Cubs offered Maddux a two-year deal Tuesday, thought to be
worth a total of $14 million to $15 million. Maddux made $14.75
million last year, his final season with the Atlanta Braves.

"We've always had an interest in Greg," Cubs general manager
Jim Hendry said. "He's certainly earned the right to pitch
wherever he wants. We're hopeful he'd like to come back and finish
where he started."

Maddux hadn't given the Cubs an answer as of Wednesday, and
Hendry said he expects the right-hander to take his time before

"We're continuing to negotiate with about four, five teams,"
Maddux's agent, Scott Boras, said Tuesday. "There's a possibility
something can happen this week, but a lot of Greg's considerations
involve meeting owners of clubs personally, and he's taking a very
methodical approach to this."

The Cubs' offer to Maddux was first reported by the Chicago
Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times and the Daily Herald.

Maddux is only 11 wins shy of his 300th victory, and there's
nothing the Cubs would like more than for him to get it with his
original team.

Fans have never forgiven the Cubs for letting Maddux go in 1992.
He spent his first seven seasons in Chicago, going 95-75 and
winning the first of his four Cy Young awards.

But the Cubs wouldn't pay Maddux what he wanted, and he left for
Atlanta after the 1992 season.

While Maddux helped the Braves win a division title every year
he was there, as well the 1995 World Series, the Cubs wallowed in
mediocrity -- or worse -- after his departure. They've had only five
winning seasons since he left, and didn't make the playoffs again
until 1998.

And until Kerry Wood and Mark Prior arrived, the Cubs didn't
have a pitcher who could make fans forget about Maddux. He was
194-88 with a 2.63 ERA during his 11-year stint in Atlanta, setting
an NL record for most consecutive innings without a walk and
becoming the poster child for consistency with his streak of 15-win

Getting Maddux would also help even out the arms race in the NL
Central. Chicago has one of the best young pitching staffs in the
majors with Prior, Wood, Carlos Zambrano and Matt Clement.

The rival Houston Astros added some serious arms this season,
luring Roger Clemens out of retirement Monday to join his former
Yankees teammate Andy Pettitte.