Another Hundley To Play For Cubs

Dodgers' Todd Hundley is congratulated by Adrian Beltre after hitting a solo home run. AP

Todd Hundley, whose father caught 10 years for the Cubs, reached a preliminary agreement Saturday on a $23.5 million, four-year deal with Chicago, The Associated Press learned Saturday.

The deal with Hundley, who had reconstructive elbow surgery in 1997, is pending medical tests, according to a source close to the negotiations, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Acquiring a catcher had been one of the top offseason goals for the Cubs, who finished 65-97 last season tied for the worst record in the National League.

Joe Girardi and Jeff Reed shared most of the catching duties for the Cubs last season. Girardi hit .278 with six homers and 40 RBIs, while Reed batted .214 with four homers and 25 RBIs.

Hundley hit 24 homers and drove in 70 runs in only 90 games for Los Angeles last season. But he struggled in the field, throwing out only 20 percent of attempted base stealers last season. The Dodgers did not offer Hundley salary arbitration.

Hundley had been one of the top offensive catchers in the game before the surgery, hitting 41 home runs for the New York Mets in 1996.

But after the surgery and the Mets' acquisition of Mike Piazza in 1998, Hundley became expendable and was traded to the Dodgers following the season.

Hundley, who apparently turned down a higher offer from a different team, gets a $2 million signing bonus, $3 million in 2001, $6 million in 2002-03, and $6.5 million in 2004. He can earn an additional $500,000 in 2003 for playing in 100 games.

In his 11-year career, Hundley has 172 homers, 522 RBIs and a .240 career average.

The Cubs have been the busiest team so far at the winter meetings. They signed Jeff Fassero to a $5.1 million, two-year contract, with a mutual option for 2003. They also have agreed to a $5 million, two-year deal with Tom Gordon, pending a physical, according to the source.

Randy Hundley caught for the Cubs from 1966-73 and 1976-77 and was a fan favorite at Wrigley Field.


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