CHICAGO, Oct. 31 (UPI) -- First baseman Fred McGriff will be back with the Chicago Cubs next season after exercising a player option on Wednesday. Financial terms were not disclosed.
In the playoff hunt just before the trade deadline, the Cubs acquired McGriff to provide Sammy Sosa some protection in a lineup that had little power. Although he was hesitant to leave his hometown of Tampa Bay, McGriff did well in the cleanup spot, hitting .282 with 12 home runs and 41 RBI in just 49 games with Chicago.
McGriff finished the season with a combined .306 average, 31 homers and 102 RBI. He reached the 30-homer mark for the ninth time and 100 RBI for the seventh time.
The 38-year-old is a sure-fire Hall of Famer as only he and Hank Aaron have collected at least 80 RBI in 14 consecutive seasons. During a 16-year career, McGriff has 448 homers -- 26th all time -- and 1,400 RBI while also playing for Toronto, San Diego and Atlanta.
The five-time All-Star also has appeared in 50 postseason games, batting .303 with 10 home runs and 37 RBI. He has played in two World Series, winning with the Braves in 1995.
McGriff should bat behind Sosa again in 2002. The Cubs (88-74) faded this past season and finished five games out of a playoff spot.