X-factor: Cubs look to add Nady to mix

X-factor: Cubs look to add Nady to mix

The Cubs have reportedly struck a tentative one-year deal with free agent Xavier Nady, who could provide some power and depth to Chicago's outfield but must get past the doctors first.

Free-agent contracts almost always require a physical, and in Nady's case, that's no minor formality. He played only seven games for the Yankees in 2009 before undergoing the second Tommy John surgery of his career.

Nady is hoping to join the short list of players -- mostly pitchers -- to return from two such procedures and his agent, Scott Boras, e-mailed FoxSports.com last week to say that the outfielder is "on schedule to be ready in Spring Training." Another source, though, told the same Web site on Tuesday that Nady passing his physical was, "not a foregone conclusion." That physical will likely take place before the end of the week.  

Yahoo! Sports was the first to report that the Cubs had a deal in place with Nady. According to several outlets, including The Associated Press, if finalized, the contract would guarantee Nady $3.3 million in 2010, with $2.05 more available in incentives for games played.

A Cubs spokesperson said the club would not comment on Tuesday's reports about Nady.

Nady, 31, played his last healthy season in 2008, when he hit .305 with 25 home runs and 97 RBIs for the Pirates and Yankees.

Nady would join an experienced Cubs outfield and could see most of his action as a right-handed foil to left-handed-hitting right fielder Kosuke Fukudome and occasional backup for Alfonso Soriano in left. The Cubs signed free agent Marlon Byrd this winter to play center field.

First, Nady would have to prove he's healthy from the second major elbow surgery of his career. He underwent the procedure in early July, meaning he will be just nine months removed from it by Opening Day. A number of Web sites have lists of baseball players who have gone through Tommy John surgery, a procedure in which a tendon from a different part of the body is used to replace a turn ulnar collateral ligament, but Nady and catcher Vance Wilson are the only position players listed as having the surgery twice.

Wilson had his procedures back-to-back in the summers of 2007 and '08. He signed a Minor League contract with the Royals for '09 and batted .270 in 59 games for Double-A Northwest Arkansas. Wilson didn't play his first game in '09 until June 19 and caught only 18 games, appearing mostly as a designated hitter.

It's notable that Wilson is five years older than Nady. The Royals have already re-signed Wilson to a Minor League contract for 2010 that includes an invitation to big league camp.

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