CHICAGO (AP) – Free-agent reliever Scott Eyre agreed to terms on a two-year, $11 million contract with the Chicago Cubs on Thursday.

Financial terms of the deal, which includes a player option for the 2008 season, were still being negotiated.

“We haven’t worked all that out yet,” Eyre’s agent Tommy Tanzer said. “There is going to be a signing bonus.”

The Cubs said Eyre will be introduced at a news conference Friday at Wrigley Field.

The 33-year-old left-hander had received a two-year offer with a club option to stay with San Francisco, but was hoping for a three-year deal and wanted to play closer to his family in Florida.

Eyre led the league with 86 appearances pitching for San Francisco last season, going 2-2 with a career best 2.63 ERA. He struck out 65 batters and walked 26 in 68 1-3 innings, holding opponents to a .200 batting average.

“Scott was the best guy on the market for us. He had a terrific year,” Cubs general Jim Hendry said. “He has proven he can pitch almost every day with 80 appearances. He’s effective against righties and lefties. We felt it was important to add a quality lefty in the pen to go with (Wil) Ohman.”

Eyre’s contract calls for up to $300,000 a year in performance bonuses. He will receive $100,000 for 70 appearances and an additional $200,000 if he pitches in 80 games. There is also wording that would give Eyre additional money should he become the Cubs’ closer.

Tanzer, said before the signing that Eyre wanted to stay in the National League, though he also had serious interest from the Los Angeles Angels, New York Yankees, Chicago White Sox and Boston Red Sox.

Eyre played briefly for Cubs manager Dusty Baker in 2002, and is close with Chicago bench coach Dick Pole.

“I think that had a lot to do with it. In our conversations he (Eyre) has always spoken highly of him (Baker) and vice versa,” Hendry said.

Eyre had been happy in the Bay Area since the Giants claimed him off waivers from Toronto in August 2002. He pitched during the team’s World Series run that year under Baker. Several of his Giants teammates – Noah Lowry, Jack Taschner and Brad Hennessey – called trying to persuade him to stay.

AP-ES-11-17-05 2134EST

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