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Cubs close to agreement with vaunted hitting coach Jaramillo

Highly respected hitting guru Rudy Jaramillo is in serious talks with the Chicago Cubs about becoming their new hitting coach, and it appears likely that the sides will reach an agreement for Jaramillo to join the Cubs soon, SI.com has learned.

Jaramillo turned down the Rangers' offer to remain their hitting coach last week and is expected to become one of the two or three highest-paid coaches in the game with the Cubs. It is believed he will receive a multiyear deal for about $800,000 per year. Dave Duncan and Mike Maddux are thought to currently be the highest paid coaches in baseball at about $750,000. Duncan's contract is up, so he will likely regain his spot as baseball's highest paid coach if he decides to stay in St. Louis.

Jaramillo, the longtime Rangers hitting coach, will be expected to help resurrect a disappointing Cubs offense once he signs on officially. The Cubs were 10th in the NL in runs (730) and 10th in OPS (.738). The Cubs used two hitting coaches in 2009, starting with Gerald Perry. Perry was fired in June and replaced by Von Joshua.

Jaramillo worked with Cubs LF Alfonso Soriano when Soriano was a Ranger. The Cubs are hoping their reunion will spark Soriano, who had a very disappointing 2009 season, with 20 home runs, 55 RBIs and a .241 batting average.

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