Cubs begin reshaping for 2006

Cubs begin reshaping for 2006

CHICAGO -- While one Chicago baseball team celebrated its 2005 World Series win, the other started reloading for 2006.

The Cubs announced Friday that they had picked up the options on second baseman Todd Walker and reliever Scott Williamson, but declined a mutual option on outfielder Jeromy Burnitz.

Burnitz replaced the outgoing Sammy Sosa in right field and batted .258 with 24 home runs and 87 RBIs in 160 games, one game shy of the career high he set with Milwaukee in 2000. The Cubs reportedly paid the 36-year-old a $500,000 buyout rather than pick up a $7 million option for 2006.

Walker, 32, and Williamson, 29, will return for 2006.

Walker batted .305 with 12 home runs and 40 RBIs in an injury-marred 2005 season. He missed five weeks early in the year after injuring his left knee in a collision on April 10, then suffered a right knee injury in late September but appeared in the final two games of the season.

Williamson was limited to 17 games while recovering from Tommy John reconstructive elbow surgery last October, the second such procedure of his career. The Cubs originally signed him to a Minor League deal and, as with current closer Ryan Dempster, are hoping Williamson can find success after a long layoff.

Cubs general manager Jim Hendry did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

Adam McCalvy is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.