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Saturday, July 14, 2001
Updated: July 15, 2:32 PM ET
Cubs still waiting for McGriff's OK

Associated Press

Fred McGriff

CHICAGO -- Chicago Cubs manager Don Baylor has a lineup card with Fred McGriff's name on it, just in case.

The McGriff Watch continued Saturday, with the first baseman still debating whether to agree to a deal that would send him to Chicago. Cubs president and general manager Andy MacPhail said he doesn't expect to hear anything before Monday.

"I'd like to say we're close, but I don't know how close," Baylor said after the Cubs lost to the crosstown White Sox 3-1. "I'm still optimistic something might happen."

The Cubs and Devil Rays have agreed to a trade that would give Tampa Bay two prospects in exchange for McGriff. But McGriff has a no-trade clause and must approve the deal.

While the choice might seem easy -- the Devil Rays are baseball's worst team while the Cubs lead the NL Central -- McGriff is a Tampa native and likes being close to his wife and two young children.

The Cubs are looking for offensive help for the stretch run, and this weekend showed how badly they need it. After scoring 44 runs in their last four games before the All-Star break, they managed only eight in a three-game series against the White Sox.

"It's been like that all year and we're still in first place," Ricky Gutierrez said of the streaky offense. "We got to this point with the team we have, so we just have to have confidence we can get the job done."