SAN DIEGO (AP) – Greg Maddux isn’t ready to play golf full-time.

The San Diego Padres on Monday finalized a $10 million, one-year contract with Maddux, who will return for at least one more season as their No. 3 starter.

“The only way I was not coming back is if I had retired,” Maddux said by phone from his offseason home in Las Vegas. “When I had too much fun last year, I decided I wasn’t ready to quit.”

Maddux, who turns 42 on April 14, agreed to terms of the deal two weeks earlier.

The right-hander will continue to pad his Hall of Fame credentials, which include 347 wins, four Cy Young Awards and a World Series championship won in 1995 with the Atlanta Braves.

Although he’s seemingly accomplished everything possible, Maddux said he had more fun last year than in any of his previous 21 big league seasons.

“I just think it was being in San Diego,” he said. “Going to Petco Park every day and being with the guys on the team, it was a real easy team to play with. I really enjoy the ballpark. I enjoyed living in downtown San Diego for half the year and living at the beach for the other half. I kind of had the best of both worlds.”

That, and he went 14-11 with a 4.14 ERA in his first season with the Padres, who fell one win short of their third straight playoff appearance.

“You know what? I know we didn’t win, but I thought the team did real well last year,” he said.

The Padres lost a wild-card tiebreaker game to Colorado.

“I mean, that game in Colorado seems like a long time ago now,” Maddux said. “I haven’t thought about that game in a long time. I’ve just thought the last couple of weeks about getting ready for spring training.”

Mad Dog reached 13 wins for the 20th consecutive season, passing Cy Young for the major league record. He had a streak of 59 2-3 innings without issuing a walk and won his record 17th Gold Glove.

“It’s just a great game,” he said. “You see something different every night. It’s fun being around the game. I still love pitching, I love hitting, I love running the bases. It’s still fun.”

Next year might be Maddux’s last in the big leagues. Then again, it might not be.

“I’ve never gotten too far ahead of myself,” said Maddux, who loves to play golf. “I barely have tomorrow planned out, let alone the rest of the night. I’m not wired that way. I kind of wake up and say, ‘What am I going to do today?’ There are very few long-term concerns with me.”

Maddux had a player option for $8.75 million. Had he pitched 200 innings – he finished with 198 – the option price would have increased to $10 million. In addition, San Diego had a club option for $11 million.

The pitcher made $10 million last season.

Maddux was happy to see Padres ace Jake Peavy win the NL Cy Young Award in a unanimous vote by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America last week.

“It’s nice to have the opportunity to play with the best pitcher in baseball,” Maddux said. “That’s cool. And you know what? That was good voting by the writers. They got it right. I thought hands-down he should have won it. It’s nice to be agreed with.”

AP-ES-11-19-07 2107EST

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