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Garciaparra And Walker Signed

The Cubs signed Nomar Garciaparra to a one-year contract today, reported by Bruce Levine of ESPN Radio to be for $8 million with $3 million in incentives.

That's just about right, and I'd expect that if Nomar is healthy and performs up to career norms, that Jim Hendry will try to sign him to an extension before 2005 ends.

Before the arbitration-offer deadline tonight,the Cubs also signed Todd Walker to a $2.5 million deal for 2005 with a 2006 option, which will be based on plate appearances. The Cubs also offered arbitration to Matt Clement, which will accomplish the acquisition of draft picks when Clement signs elsewhere, and declined arbitration for all the other potential free agents except Todd Hollandsworth and Paul Bako, on whom a decision will be made later tonight (update to follow tomorrow morning).

Again, this is just about right, and I applaud all these moves, and now Hendry can go to the winter meetings later this week with one thing upmost in his mind -- completing a deal for Sammy Sosa.

Latest rumor: Sosa and a pitching prospect to Kansas City for Mike Sweeney and Scott Sullivan. The Cubs would then flip Sweeney to the Mets for Cliff Floyd.

I'd do this in a heartbeat, depending on how much money the Cubs would have to eat in the deal. It would also be good for Sosa, since he'd be reunited with Royals hitting coach Jeff Pentland, who helped him tremendously in his years with the Cubs -- and even with clouds surrounding Sosa, it'd surely help the Royals sell tickets.