The Chicago Cubs may have made their most important acquisition of the offseason Monday by adding a future Hall of Famer.
The organization will announce Monday afternoon that 350-game winner Greg Maddux has been signed to become a special assistant to general manager Jim Hendry in 2010.
Maddux's duties will include helping with instruction for both major-leaguers and minor-leaguers during spring training, as well as scouting duties throughout the season.
According to a source with knowledge of the signing, Maddux will be at the beck and call of Hendry during the season to evaluate minor-league affiliates and give the general manger input when trades or free-agent signings are being considered.
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. Originally Maddux came up through the Cubs organization, making 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 on the road in San Francisco during the 2005 season.
Among baseball people, Maddux is considered one of the best and brightest when it comes to the thinking man's part part of the game.
Maddux called many a pitch for catchers during games he wasn't pitching. Urban legend has Maddux calling every pitch for Cubs starter Frank Castillo during his four-hit, one-run performance in a game in 1992.
The 43-year-old Las Vegas native will be eligible for Hall of Fame voting in Jan., 2014. He, along with Ferguson Jenkins, had his Cubs No. 31 retired last summer in Wrigley Field.