The Cubs are in talks with left-hander Paul Maholm, reports ESPNChicago.com's Bruce Levine. The team and Bo McKinnis, Maholm's agent, "have been negotiating the parameters of a deal" between the two sides.
Maholm, 29, posted a 3.66 ERA in 26 starts with the Pirates last season before being sidelined by a shoulder injury. The Bucs declined to pick up the $9.75MM option on Maholm's contract for 2012, making the southpaw a free agent after seven seasons in Pittsburgh.
As Levine points out, Maholm's ability to keep the ball in the park (a career 0.82 HR/9) and on the ground (a career 52.3% ground-ball rate) will help him adjust to Wrigley Field. Maholm would be a solid addition to a Chicago rotation that also includes Ryan Dempster, Matt Garza and Randy Wells, though the latter two have been rumored to be on the trading block.