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The Cubs are in talks with left-hander Paul Maholm

Dec 16, 2011, 9:44 PM EDT

Paul Maholm AP AP

The Cubs have reportedly made a bid for Japanese right-hander Yu Darvish, but they have also set their sights on some lesser-heralded names for their starting rotation.

According to Bruce Levine of ESPNChicago.com, the club is currently in talks with free agent left-hander Paul Maholm.

Maholm, 29, became a free agent after the Pirates declined his $9.75 million option for 2012 at the end of October. He posted a solid 3.66 ERA and 97/50 K/BB ratio over 162 2/3 innings this season, but didn’t throw another pitch after being placed on the disabled list in late-August with a shoulder strain.

Maholm went 53-73 during his seven seasons in Pittsburgh, but he fits the mold of a perfectly respectable back-end starter. The southpaw has a career ground ball rate of 52.3 percent, which may or may not have much an impact depending on the quality of the defense behind him, but he at least stands a chance to survive in a hitter-friendly ballpark like Wrigley Field.

  1. jleo78 - Dec 16, 2011 at 11:10 PM

    why not jack taschner? much better lefty out of pen for less $

    • foreverchipper10 - Dec 19, 2011 at 11:24 AM

      They are looking to add him as a STARTER.

  2. wonderkt - Dec 16, 2011 at 11:32 PM

    Maholm would be a great fit for any team that needs to upgrade their number 3-4 starter. He gave an honest effort, start in and start out, year in and year out, and never pissed or moaned about routinely getting little run support from a really bad offensive ball club in Pittsburgh. A lot of teams could do way worse than him.

  3. ndrocks2 - Dec 17, 2011 at 12:04 PM

    Not a bad pitcher if he is healthy reminds me of Tom Gorzelanny. Theo seems bent on trying to get lucky with educated rehab pickups with everyone he has signed/traded for so far. First season with Boston he signed Big Papi after he was released by the Twins hopefully he is smart enough to know no one saw Big Papi coming even Theo if he is being honest.

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