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02/04/10 12:29 PM ET

Cubs ink Millar to Minor League deal

Club adds veteran to already crowded mix at first base

CHICAGO -- The Cubs signed veteran Kevin Millar to a Minor League contract Thursday, creating a crowd at first base.

Millar will be vying for attention at first with former teammate Derrek Lee, Chad Tracy, who signed a Minor League deal on Jan. 27, and Micah Hoffpauir.

It should be an entertaining Spring Training in the Cubs' camp. Millar, 38, is a former teammate of Cubs pitcher Ryan Dempster and the two engaged in a friendly war of words during Spring Training 2008. Dempster predicted the Cubs would win the World Series that season. Millar fired back that his team, the Orioles at the time, would raise the trophy in October and also that he'd go deep off Dempster. The Cubs and Orioles met that season in Interleague Play but Millar didn't face Dempster.

A career .274 hitter, Millar has hit 170 home runs in 12 seasons with Florida, Boston, Baltimore and Toronto. Last season, he batted .223 in 78 games with the Blue Jays.

Here's some Millar trivia: He broke into the Major Leagues with Florida in 1998 and hit his first home run one season later, an inside-the-park job at Wrigley Field on May 24, 1999. His uncle, Wayne Nordhagen, played for the team in '83. Also, Gary Hughes, Cubs special assistant to the general manager, signed Millar to his first contract with the Marlins.

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.