The Chicago Cubs, who finished in last place last year, are doing a little housecleaning. Andy MacPhail, the Cubs' president, is thinking about trading in his team's top players, Sammy Sosa and Mark Grace, for some newer and younger talent.Skip to next paragraph
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"We haven't cracked the 70-win barrier in two seasons now," said MacPhail. "Clearly the current formula is not working. That's no individual's fault. Since I'm in charge of the day-to-day operation, I'm going to change our priority to pitching. I've been clear about that since the season ended."
Years with the Cubs: 8 years.
Looking for: Eight-figure contract.
Stats: Has averaged .305 with an amazing 179 home runs and whopping 437 runs batted in (RBI) over the past three years.
The scoop: President MacPhail plans to offer pitcher Mike Hampton hundreds of millions that Sosa recently rejected - probably in the $60-64 million range over four years. Hampton has gone 63-31 with a 3.30 earned run average over the past four years. He pitched in the playoffs in each of those years with the New York Mets and Houston Astros.
Sosa Quote: "I think Chicago is going to come through," Sosa said last week. "Hopefully I'll go to the Hall of Fame with that Chicago Cubs hat."
Years with the Cubs: 12.
Looking for: A team that wants him.
Stats: Hit .280 with 11 homers and 82 RBIs last season, his first below-.300 year since 1994.
The scoop: The Cubs have just about shut the door on its popular first baseman. And the Arizona Diamondbacks and other teams have come knocking at the door to sign the 36-year-old for 2001 and beyond.
Grace quote: "[MacPhail has] made it crystal clear he doesn't want me around anymore.... Now, I just have to move on. When your boss doesn't want you back, you have to go get work elsewhere, and that's what I'm doing."
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