Cubs Sign Paul Maholm

The Cubs' revamped rotation has gotten deeper, as they've officially signed lefty Paul Maholm to a one-year, $4.75MM deal that includes a 2013 club option for $6.5MM with a $500K buyout.  He can earn up to $550K in incentives each year, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.  With Matt Garza, Ryan Dempster, Chris Volstad, Travis Wood, and Randy Wells already on the club, the new Cubs management has accumulated much-improved rotation depth.  The Maholm signing isn't a precursor to another move, GM Jed Hoyer told reporters today.


As a member of the Pirates for seven seasons, Maholm has logged 64 career innings at Wrigley Field. The 29-year-old posted a 3.66 ERA, 5.4 K/9, 2.8 BB/9, 0.61 HR/9, and 49.9% groundball rate in 162 1/3 innings for the Bucs in 2011. I ranked him as the ninth-best free agent starter in October. Maholm, a Bo McKinnis client, had his 2011 season cut short in August due to a shoulder strain. After the season the Pirates chose a $750K buyout over his $9.75MM club option.

So far this offseason Cubs president Theo Epstein and GM Jed Hoyer have signed David DeJesus, Reed Johnson, Manny Corpas, and Andy Sonnanstine via free agency. They've added Ian Stewart, Casey Weathers, Ronald Torreyes, Dave Sappelt, Wood, Volstad, Zach Cates, and Anthony Rizzo via trade.

Bruce Levine of ESPNChicago first reported the near-agreement, with Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune adding contract details.  Mike Axisa contributed to this post. Photo courtesy of Icon SMI.

137 Responses to Cubs Sign Paul Maholm Leave a Reply

  1. CaseyBlakeDeWitt 4 years ago

    So Maholm broke the signing of himself

  2. I will always remember Paul Maholm as the guy who struck out Billy Crystal. 

  3. letsgogiants 4 years ago

    Good depth signing for the Cubs. He may not be the most attractive free agent starter out there, but he should get the job done as an innings eater, barring any injuries of some sort. With the way Hoyer/Epstein have been rolling this offseason, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Garza traded now. However I’m not quite sure how they’re going to get rid of Soriano. Epstein and co. would have to pull a hat trick in order to successfully move him given how much he is owed and how he is only a DH at this point.

    • Leonard Washington 4 years ago

      Maholm is a solid four starter and a very solid five starter. As for Soriano the team has come out and said they are willing to eat a nice portion to rid themselves of him so even if they do its still gonna hit payroll. At this point unless they can actually get some prospects back by eating the whole thing its probably best to hold onto him. His market is tiny, who needs a streaky hitting poor D playing left fielder? 

      • letsgogiants 4 years ago

        I could see teams like the Orioles and Rays that could have interest in Soriano, even though Duquette may not be very compelled at taking a player like that. I think if the Rays don’t sign anyone, then Soriano would be a good add for them at DH, if most of his contract is eaten of course. However, with a lot of his limitations dragging him down like you said, he’ll most likely stay in a Cubs uniform for now.

        • Leonard Washington 4 years ago

          If Soriano can have a solid season I think a team in the AL in need of a DH or an NL team who needs a LF might give up a solid prospect if his contract is eaten. Its possible, its probably one of only a couple scenarios were Theo could actually rid the team of him and get something worthwhile.

    • Guest 4 years ago

      not…he is not an innings eater…he is the type that can go 6 and then throw the relievers in….remember he missed a couple starts due to fatigue/dead arm

      • letsgogiants 4 years ago

        Okay I see your point, but look at the number of innings he went before 2011:

        2008: 206.1
        2009: 194.2
        2010: 185.1

        Yes, you could say that the number of innings he’s pitched since 2008 has gone downhill since, but mainly that was because of ineffectiveness. However, had he stayed healthy, we would have likely passed the number of innings he ate in 2010 and possibly 2009. Given that he is only 29, if he can stay healthy, I could see him eating more innings in the future. Point being, he may not be a top of the rotation type of starter, maybe middle of the rotation quality at best, but what he will provide is someone who will take the load off the bullpen and their young pitchers. I think Maholm is a solid signing, depending on the amount of years and dollars given of course, for the Cubs as he would be an upgrade over any of the Cubs younger starters given his experience. 

        • Guest 4 years ago

          thats the question… that shoulder trashed or is it ok???…time will tell but all this tells me is that Garza is pretty much out the door

  4. How many years? /:

  5. I hope this signals a Garza trade.  I like Garza but he’s gonna be costly soon and by the time his controlled years are up the Cubs will probably no have won anything.  It makes all the sense in the world to trade him now.

    Really hoping they can pry Turner away from the Tigers.  The Cubs might not win more than 75 games this year, yet I haven’t been more excited about the Cubs and their future than I am right now.  I love what Theo and Jed are doing in this front office.  

  6. tdot32 4 years ago

    guess he enjoys playing on losing teams?

    • Lunchbox45 4 years ago

      jays fans shouldnt really be kicking dirt in anyone’s face

    • Leonard Washington 4 years ago

      Sure hope your team has won a wildcard or a division in the past decade otherwise your comment is gonna seem silly. 

      • tdot32 4 years ago

        if i was lucky enough to play in the majors in any sport and have a decent enough year before my contract expires, i’d prefer to sign with a team that isn’t in rebuild mode, especially at maholm’s age. that’s all i’m saying. unless the cubs are paying significantly more than any other team, then i don’t see the point of maholm signing with the cubs.

        obviously i don’t know what the offers were like for maholm, but i just don’t see how he’s going to make an impact with the cubs, and i don’t see any sense in him signing with them.

        • Leonard Washington 4 years ago

          Obviously we can’t no for sure what every team is offering him, but if I had to guess though I would say that the money he is getting 4.1M a season is competitive with what he has been offered. Contending teams arn’t going to spend much on a 4-5 starter at this stage of the game. They are generally looking for #2-3 types and depth signings. The cubs need cheap 4-5 types to fill out the rotation with the question marks they got and will continue to have once/if Garza is gone. Assuming Garza goes they got Dempster, Wood, Maholm, Volstad, and something like Wells/Sonanstine. Even if Garza stays he is needed. As for why the cubs? Why a rebuilding team? I don’t know it could be the franchise or a lack of serious competing options.

          • tdot32 4 years ago

            i’m not convinced the cubs are moving garza until the season begins. they would do much better to hold on to him an sell him to a contender at full value. I get that contending teams wouldn’t go after maholm, but at least a more competetive team would be more of an attraction, and i’d personally take a slightly reduced salaray if it meant playing a couple more competetive games of baseball. if he doesn’t mind playing for rebuilding teams, than that’s great for him.

          • Leonard Washington 4 years ago

            yeah I would personally go where the money is in this economy. Maholm probably could have signed with NY, or Boston ect but he is good enough where he is looking for a guaranteed role on a team and I don’t think they could have given it to him. Just my theory. Garza is at his highest value now. He still will be very valuable at the deadline but not quite as valuable as he is right now. Plus there is always the outside chance he gets injured and kills his trade value completely. I would put it at 80% that he does get moved before the season starts.

  7. Gigantes2425 4 years ago

    You know your team was bad when you sign Paul maholm and your team gets better

    • bacboris 4 years ago

      So the other 5-6 teams that were after him suck as well? Cant wait til the Red Sox and etc. fans come after you. Tip of the cap for the witty insight though.

      • Gigantes2425 4 years ago

        But when a guy picks the cubs over the red sox or for an actual MLB team you have to think maybe other teams weren’t actually in on him

        • jhfdssdaf 4 years ago

          Red sox are at or near the luxury tax cap.  If they signed him, they are essentially paying 40% more than the contract due to the tax.

      • jedicouncil 4 years ago

        its called kicking the tires, for those new to the world of baseball

    • Leonard Washington 4 years ago

      Not really. Guy goes 6-7 innings most starts and thats more than solid for a 5 starter. Their arn’t many teams that couldn’t benefit a little bit from signing him. 

  8. Mikeschoolerforever 4 years ago

    New G.M., huge salaries, under performing players, and a depleted farm system. Sounds like my team 3 years ago when Jack Z took it over. Buckle up Cubs fans cause it’s a long ride back to respectability.

    • michael hughes 4 years ago

      Fortunately, they don’t have a Chone Figgins parallel.

      • MaderoDos 4 years ago

        Soriano wouldn’t compare….

        • Mikeschoolerforever 4 years ago

          If not Alfonso then they did with Zambrano. Even tho they’ll miss his uplifting presence in the locker room, they’ll still feel his shadow in their payroll this year.

        • michael hughes 4 years ago

          I meant the signing of a big contract after the new GM took over and the rebuilding had started.

    • jayrig5 4 years ago

      I get your point, but with the Angels/Rangers in your division, not to mention the respective payroll constraints (or lack thereof in Chicago) I don’t think it’s quite the same in terms of difficulty.

      • Leonard Washington 4 years ago

        It is worse for the cubs. If the Rays have taught me anything as a Sox fan its that a young effective rotation can go a long way. The Mariners got that is spades they got Felix,  Penidea, Vargas, and somee very talent arms coming up real soon. Arms can shut down offenses. The cubs have no such luck they essentially got Starlin and a long wait for now. I would put my money on Seattle being at least respectable (3rd) before the Cubs. 

        • jayrig5 4 years ago

          Respectable means nothing.  You can’t seriously think that the Mariners will challenge for a divisional title before the Cubs, right?  It’s not the Mariners fault, they definitely have good pitching.  But their offense is so, so much worse than the Rays, it’s not comparable.  It’s been a historically bad offense.  The Cubs had a better run differential than the Mariners last year, and the Cubs had awful pitching outside of Garza, and a bad offense.  If the Mariners played in the NL Central, I’d bet on the Mariners winning a division before the Cubs won the AL West, but it’s not the case.  The Rangers and Angels are going to be really good for a few years at least, while the Cards/Brewers are probably going to slip, due to aging players/loss of free agents.  The Astros are leaving (ironically, that might help the Mariners; 18 more games against Houston can’t hurt) and the Reds and Pirates are theoretically getting better, but neither has the resources the Cubs do.  The Mariners might finish third for a few seasons while the Cubs finish 4th…but that’s hardly more “respectable”, and that’s banking heavily on the Mariners learning to actually create runs. 

          • Leonard Washington 4 years ago

            The honest truth is that niether team is likely to compete for a long time unless some thing break their way inbetween now and then. But thats why respectability is important. Sure the Cubs can spend money but so can the Mariners. Cubs might have more money but if the Mariners can field a very good team of players before the Cubs which they are all but certain to, then they will likely be able to attract FA better than Chicago. If your a competitive slugger or ace pitcher you want the team with the excellent foundation or the team thats mediocre at best and years away from seriousness. The mariners as is with their solid rotation and excellent pitching prospects are a couple young arms breaking through, and some free agent signings away from competing in the AL West. Where is after Garza is gone the Cubs need like 4 above average starters and the better part of an entire lineup revamp to compete.

          • jayrig5 4 years ago

            The Mariners are not nearly that close to competing.  Their offense is literally historically bad.  They do not have nearly the payroll ceiling the Cubs do.  And Chicago is plenty attractive to free agents, no matter the team on the field.  Your estimation of where the Cubs are and where they could be is off base.  They’re about to have a lot of young talent (under 25) in their system, with a payroll ceiling of $150 million, maybe more, in the NL Central.  They have a very smart front office with a supportive ownership.  (It’s so weird to say that about the Cubs.  I wouldn’t have 6 months ago.)    

            The Mariners have a terrible offense.  They play in a much tougher division, especially for the next few years, before the Angels/Rangers rosters age a bit.  The Cubs play in an ever-weakening division.  The Cubs won 97 games in 2008, and while it was a really good team, it wasn’t exactly full of superstar, impossible to find players.  After this season, the Cubs have essentially $100 million in payroll flexibility.  And they finally have a smart front office, with a farm system that is improving rapidly.  

            But the most important part of my argument is the divisions.  The Mariners are quite unlucky right now; the AL West is an arms race this offseason.  The Rangers and Angels were already way, way better than Seattle, and they’ve done nothing but improve.  Seattle has just done nothing.  Meanwhile, the Cubs have seen an exodus in talent from the NL Central.  The Brewers will struggle to retain Greinke beyond this year.  Maybe Marcum as well.  The Cards will be good this year, probably; but how many years does the Carpenter/Wainwright tandem have left?  Plus, both those teams are losing franchise players.  

            The Reds will be losing Votto in a couple of years.  The Pirates are still in a a one step forward two steps back mode.  

          • Leonard Washington 4 years ago

            Obviously every team has major question marks but if the Rays can compete with a nice rotation and mediocre offense I think Seattle can eventually. If the Mariners Smoak can take a step forward, they were to sign Fielder, and make a couple solid trades for offense to compliment Ichiro, Ackley they could field a solid offense. The cubs got Castro, Rizzo, and Barney in the lineup representing the only guys who are likely to be a part of this offense when they do contend. The farm has very little as far as pitching prospects go. I get that their division might be easier before Seattles, but just as easily it could not. Brewers/Card/Reds could pick people up and continue to improve with their good young players. Just my opinion.

          • Mikeschoolerforever 4 years ago

            On paper the Angels and Rangers have good teams, no argument there, Rangers more so than the Angels in my opinion. Mariners have a solid young core of pitching and positional players and believe it or not also have financial means for a BIG addition right now. 2 years from now our T.V. deal is up and since we appeal to 4 states you have to know that the new deal is going to be huge! Ichiro will be off the books next year and Figgins the next so I’m not so worried about that so-called financial constraint.

  9. Jacob Turner…come on down!  Bring your friend Smyly with you.

  10. MonsterPike 4 years ago

    I like the 1st sentence of the article, LoL!!, “The Cubs’ revamped rotation has gotten deeper”

    Yeah, deeper in doo doo… Or, I’ll be nicer, deeper in 4th & 5th starters… I’m a Cub fan, but this rotation is killing me, especially if they go ahead with the rumored trading of Garza…

    • Why?  Goal is to rebuild…Maholm is a great buy-low candidate.  60 wins probably gets us the #1 pick.  With the new CBA, it’s the only way to have a really great draft….early picks.

      • MaderoDos 4 years ago

        at this rate, #1 pick for the next 4 years….

        • MonsterPike 4 years ago

          Funny you guys should say that… I said the same thing about the draft picks & the down 2012 season, & got roasted for it on a different forum… LoL!!

          • MaderoDos 4 years ago

            Probably by ignorant and stupid fanatics. The way this is going cheap and depth are one thing, moronic moves are another. Wood, Malholm, 3B, DeJesus, etc…what next Pena at 1B?

          • Hawkguy 4 years ago

            Yeah, I second that opinion.

          • What other forum are you on?  I can never find an intelligent Cubs forum.

          • Hawkguy 4 years ago

            Bleacher Nation is a solid forum.

          • Try Sons of Ivy.

        • Hawkguy 4 years ago

          As long as those picks make an IMMEDIATE impact by 2016, better known as the last year of Theo’s contract :)

        • Snoochies8 4 years ago

          and here’s where the a’s throw their hats into the ring for #1 pick for the next two years

        • jhfdssdaf 4 years ago

          Nah… Cubs have at least a little talent.  Astros have the #1 pick locked up.

          • Guest 4 years ago

            that is a 2 way race.houston or a’s….

      • jayrig5 4 years ago

        I like the signing of Maholm (for reasons beyond the fact that I finally got my 7th free agent correct in the contest…it’s been a rough go) but I think that definition of “rebuild” is perhaps too narrow.  With Garza, you have a really good, relatively young starter, under team control, and you’re a team that can easily afford to pay him.  One of the quickest ways to rebuild a team is to build a really good starting rotation.  Whether you think Garza is a 1 or a 2 in the NL Central, he’s still a guy you could build around.  Signing him to an extension, on top of all the other moves they’ve made, would still be a legitimate rebuilding tactic.  And it’s one I think the Cubs would do if teams didn’t meet their price for Garza.  I don’t think the Cubs would have lowered their demands, and it seems like the Tigers are willing to meet them, although things certainly can change.  So if they get a package they think improves the organization more than a Garza extension would improve the organization, they’ll do it.  But just blindly dealing Garza is not necessarily the way to go.  Nor do I think Theo is going without “stars”; not by choice, anyway.  I think he’d be more than willing to spend on free agents that fit the plan, but beyond Fielder, there were no real obvious candidates this year.  Especially since they’re probably not competing next year, as much as it pains me to say. 

        • No issues with this.  But if the deal with the Tigers IS for Turner plus others, it essentially is a no-brainer.  Turner has an ace-level ceiling and has dominated at every stop so far (except his ridiculous callup at 20 that made no sense).  You get a young SP with 6 years of control and at least an equivalent ceiling.  That gives your 3-4 legit players under 24 who are close to ML ready with Rizzo, Castro, and Jackson.   Not a bad foundation.

          • MaderoDos 4 years ago

            Then fill in the remainder of the roster with Wood, Maholm, Volstad, DeJesus, and Stewart the club should be great in 5 years…lol.

          • jayrig5 4 years ago

            For sure.  If it’s Turner, Castellanos, and Smyly, for example, or if not Smyly someone like Oliver or another projectable SP prospect plus a lottery ticket…I don’t see how you couldn’t consider that a win for the Cubs, especially when they could turn around and use the Garza extension money to sign a really good free agent starter next year or the year after.  That’s the luxury of a big market team.  Teams like Toronto/Tampa have to deal guys like Garza because they can’t carry them on the payroll…the Cubs moving Garza just allows for more payroll flexibility.  The return for Garza isn’t just the prospects, it’s also whoever the Cubs acquire using the money they could have spent on Garza.

          • Well, I doubt the deal would include Castellanos with Turner, but yes to your other points.  The payroll flexibility is enormous.  Unfortunately, the savings can no longer be re-invested.  Stupid CBA.

          • jayrig5 4 years ago

            Well, not re-invested in the draft.  But there are still smart free-agent signings to be had.  

            You really don’t think Castellanos would be in the deal?  I think it’s possible.

          • With Turner?  No chance.  Without him?  Sure.  Dombrowski wants to win, but he isn’t a total moron.

          • jedicouncil 4 years ago

            who have the blue jays had to let go of because they cant carry them financially?  Wells was traded because he sucked for the $ he was getting, Halladay was traded because he wanted a chance at a ring and wouldnt sign an extension.

  11. Gigantes is right on – bad sign when adding a #5 starter makes your rotation better than it was.

    2 predictions for ’12:
    1) Cubs break team record, if not league record, for fewest runs scored
    2) Cubs break team record, if not league record, for largest differential between runs scored and runs given up.

    and yes, I am a Cub fan.

    • loganbowes 4 years ago

      Yeah, well when your rotation depth is pretty much nil it makes things pretty easy to improve

    • jedicouncil 4 years ago

      glad to meet an honest cubs fan, good to see someone who calls a spade a spade.

  12. Tacho Bill 4 years ago

    I’m sure the Pirates are quaking in their boots to have to face Paul “Innings Eater” Maholm. 

  13. Cubs27 4 years ago

    i really love how everyone bashes Maholm like he’s a single A pitcher in the bigs.  not saying much but he was top 70 in WAR for starting pitchers in 2011.  Gotta mean something.

    • That’s basically a 3/4 starter, which was also one of his better years. He’ll either continue the trend or regress back to a 4/5 starter which he’s been for most of his career. Good depth signing though like him better than Wells and others.

    • MaderoDos 4 years ago

      Maholm or Garza? That’s the complaint. Maholm is a fine #5. But 2 out of 6 good years is scary.

  14. MaderoDos 4 years ago

    Theo has quite the challenge in front of him. Obviously he’s thrown out the next 3-4 yrs. The garbage he’s brought in to the MLB roster will hurt revenue (which Ricketts won’t like), but he has a track record of a strong farm. His biggest challenge will be a $130m payroll vs a $160-180m Boston payroll. Theo’s assesment of FA’s has been less than 50% accurate and the bad FA will hurt much more with a lower payroll. Ultimately, I don’t think Theo can do this in less than 5 yrs.

    • $20988710 4 years ago

      One thing he has very much going for him is that if they move Sori soon and Demp’s contract being done after this year they have tons of money to spend and a MUCH MUCH better farm system than 2 months ago…I wouldn’t go as far as saying he’s thrown out the next 3-4 years just because he will have money to spend starting next offseason. Future is looking so much brighter already from him and Hoyer cleaning up the mess that was left by Hendry. Maybe I’m just being too optimistic but so far I have no complaints and enjoying all the moves and looking ahead. Either way I still love Cub baseball.

      • This is true.  If Garza is dealt, the Cubs would only have 33m committed to 2013.  That’s insanity.  And only two arb-eligible guys would be in their 3rd year (Soto and Sonnanstine).   I certainly could see having the ship on a VERY good direction by 2014 especially if the Tigers deal happens.

        • jayrig5 4 years ago

          Indeed. Anyone saying 3-4 years thrown out is way off base, especially when you factor in the rest of the division and their respective situations.  Theo doesn’t have to build the ’27 Yankees in 2 years, he just has to build a team better than the rest of the 2013/2014 NL Central.

          • jb226 4 years ago

            My prediction:

            2012, tough year.  Before the year is done, probably squeeze a few more trades out to rid the team of Soriano (if not his money!), Byrd, and Maholm.  Soto is a question depending on how he performs.  It’s possible DeJesus might go too, but I think he stays for at least one full year.

            2013, it depends on who ultimately makes it to free agency but I think the Cubs go hard after Cain and/or Hamels.  Instant leap back to respectability in the division with some big FA pitching signings.  Some of the better prospects (Jackson/Rizzo mostly) have their first full years.

            2014, prospects have some Major League action under their belts and the rotation is much improved, so a handful of acquisitions put them into serious contention in the Central.  A couple more prospects (Baez?  Szczur?) may also be up and ready to contribute.

            2015, sustained serious contention/maintenance mode.  I’m not the type who is going to predict a division championship much less anything more, but I think the Cubs’ transition from joke to perennial contendor is more or less complete by then.

      • jhfdssdaf 4 years ago

        “move Sori” is going to require that they pay him most of his contract anyway.

    • xcal1br 4 years ago

      Have you ever seen a Cubs telecast?  Hurt revenue?  Cubs fans are the most genuine and loyal in all of sport!  We will continue to support our team no matter what.  Trust me, we have suffered through much worse than 2012 will bring.  Plus, we aren’t expecting anything, so anything close to a 50-50 record is going to be gravy.  I think all Cubs fans are excited to see what the very near future holds.

      • jhfdssdaf 4 years ago

        Last year, scalpers were selling tickets at face value.  Actual attendance was down.  Sure, this isn’t Florida, but revenues are down when the Cubs can’t compete.

    • PWNdroia 4 years ago

      I don’t think Theo will bring a championship.  In the end he couldn’t even save Boston with the second highest payroll. he spent all our money on overpaid players (like the Cub’s Soriano).  Most overrated GM.  I’m glad he’s gone.

      • disgustedcubfan 4 years ago

        Two World Series rings will make Cub fans happy.  I would think Red Sox fans would be happy with that as well, based on the pre- Epstien drought.

        • PWNdroia 4 years ago

          Dan Duquette needs to share much credit for 2004 for all but Curt Schilling.

  15. MaderoDos 4 years ago

    I heard Maholm is a honeybadger….

  16. monkeyking42 4 years ago

    Interesting thing about Maholm is that soft-tossing lefties like him are usually able to sustain lower than average BABIPs (see: Jamie Moyer, career .282 BABIP, or Barry Zito at .268), meaning that “advanced” stats like FIP tend to underrate them.  Maholm’s is .310 for his career, which is actually slightly worse than average, but he’s also played most of that time with really crappy Pirates defenses behind him.  The two times in his career that his BABIP has dropped below .300 (2008 and 2011), he was able to achieve ERAs under 4.00.  I’m wondering if with a reliably competent defense he might be able to maintain the level we saw in 2011.

    • jb226 4 years ago

      That eliminates the Cubs, doesn’t it?

      • monkeyking42 4 years ago

        Well played.

        Seriously though, the two worst UZR offenders last year were Ramirez and Fukudome, both gone now.  I don’t follow the Cubs real closely, so I don’t know exactly what the defensive alignment projects to be, but it’d be tough to be worse defensively than the 2010 Pirates.

  17. stewie75 4 years ago

    Cubs can rebuild quickly, I agree with the thought that it can happen in 3 years. There are a lot of high salary guys coming off the books, theo and jed will have their choice of any impact player to fill in holes. by then baez and whomever else will already be coming up and showing what they can do. writing some blank checks to hamels and cain would be a good start next offseason. signing cespedes and a shrewd college player heavy draft could put you in a good position quickly.

  18. meep 4 years ago

    even if cubs dont have the greatest team they do have a good shot at the NL central. since pit sucks, brews will be without their best player for a while, fielder wont be resign and cards just lost their best player 

    • PWNdroia 4 years ago

      I disagree.  Cards and Brewers are still better than the Cubs without their best players.

  19. Wow, everyone hating on Pittsburgh. Remember they were competing for the first half of the season last semester and all their players are coming into their prime while they’ve made very solid additions this offseason.

    Poor Cubs. If they had a first rate offense I’d say they could be competitive with this staff, Maholm gets a bad rap but at his best he can be a #3. The Cubs offense however…is unsalvageable right now.

  20. FillyPhan 4 years ago

    You sign this guy for way too much money, but want Wood with the hometown discount…Poor moves by new management in my eyes.

    If you wanted a softthrowing lefty could have gone for Moyer to fill a spot and saved about 3mil

    • Ben Zetlitz 4 years ago

      The truth is the Cubs don’t need Wood. Keeping team mascots such as
      Kerry as an act of loyalty is not what you want to see if you’re trying
      to turn this franchise around. The Cubs don’t need a below average set
      up man for 1 year for however much money the market determines.
      Especially since all he’ll be doing is taking a spot away from a younger
      arm in the bullpen.

      • xcal1br 4 years ago

        If you really believe that’s all there is behind building a winning team with a winning attitude over the long haul, then I and all Cubs fans are really happy you aren’t calling the shots in Chitown.

        • Ben Zetlitz 4 years ago

          Wh..what does that even mean? Where did I say that’s all the is behind it? I’m merely saying there’s no reason to keep Kerry Wood around as a mascot if he wants more money than he’s worth to our ball club. Why are we going to spend money on something that doesn’t help us at all? Loyalty?

          That’s why “You and all Cubs fans” aren’t in angreement with Theo and Hoyer on this one. You’re blinded by your Kerry love. He doesn’t help us. He’s a waste of money no matter how much you love him. Deal with it.

          • FillyPhan 4 years ago

            I highly disagree. Who is going to be the face of the Cubs. You need to have some established clubhouse presence or you are going to completely disassociate with your fanbase. Theo needs a smooth transition, not instantly clear house or your going to have no one for the fans to hold onto. Your not going to win anyone over by having a bunch of no names.

          • jhfdssdaf 4 years ago

            On the upside, Soriano is still a Cub.  Oh wait…

          • Ben Zetlitz 4 years ago

            No you don’t. No one watches the Cubs for Kerry Wood and he’s far from the “face”. “Clubhouse Presence” Lol. That barely matters at all. Kerry Wood is my favorite player ever. I’m not going to stop being a Cubs fan if they get rid of him because I’m smart and know it’s for the best of the team. Plus, if they stop being fans because of this then who needs them anyway.

          • xcal1br 4 years ago

            Said the boy who never played team sports.

            There is a dynamic among teammates that is completely unquantifiable.  A likable veteran like Kerry goes a long way to creating a harmonious atmosphere for the players, especially in light of all the under-25s who will be on the opening day roster.

            Do you know what a mascot is?  Let me google that for you:  “A person, animal, or object believed to bring good luck, especially one
            kept as the symbol of an organization such as a sports team.”  So, you think all Kerry Wood will do is bring good luck to the Cubs?  Good point.  He certainly won’t be pitching, teaching or leading at all?  Good to know you have such a firm grasp on the fundamentals.  Thank you for your input, I learned a lot.

          • Ben Zetlitz 4 years ago

            Do you think that you are some baseball genius who is the only one to have come up with this thought? Do you think Theo and Jed would be baffled by your theory?

            They’ve obviously thought about that. So have I. It’s not worth it. Kerry Wood, on the baseball field and “teaching”, is not worth what he’s asking for and he should not be paid it just because he’s Kerry Wood.

            There’s a reason we’re not looking for any other decent veteran relievers. Because we need one of those just as much as we need Kerry Wood. We don’t. Which is why Theo and Jed know better than to sign him for what he’s worth.

      • jb226 4 years ago

        I agree with you overall, but I don’t think calling Kerry Wood a below average set-up man is accurate.  He is still a quality pitcher.

        That said, signing him certainly wouldn’t block anybody and it’s a nice story for a team that is going to have a rough year.  Paying him market value isn’t going to hurt the Cubs, and there is something to be said for having a veteran guy in what is likely to be an extremely young and inexperienced bullpen.

        • Ben Zetlitz 4 years ago

          I never said he wasn’t a good reliever. I said he’s a below average set up/8th inning reliever. Look around the league. He’s not as good as others and shouldn’t be paid as much as he apparently wants. We can do without him.

  21. Ben Zetlitz 4 years ago

    The truth is the Cubs don’t need Wood. Keeping team mascots such as Kerry as an act of loyalty is not what you want to see if you’re trying to turn this franchise around. The Cubs don’t need a below average set up man for 1 year for however much money the market determines. Especially since all he’ll be doing is taking a spot away from a younger arm in the bullpen.

    • In general, I agree that the Cubs don’t need Kerry Wood this year.  However, if the plan if for Kerry to become the voice of the Cubs (tv or radio) I think that there is value long term to the organization to keep him as a member of the team.  His costs would be more a marketing expense for the future.  That being said, I think that Kerry would be foolish to leave the Cubs for another team.  Staying on (slightly underpaid) would build a rapport with the Cubs fans, and we all know how well that ended up working for Ron Santo.  I think that Theo knows this, I think Kerry knows this, and I think Kerry will re-sign for $3M by Friday.

  22. bigsweens38 4 years ago

    The guy is actually a pretty good pitcher.  i’m a lifelong pirate fan,hopefully he can finally experience some winning,good luck.

  23. Roy Munson 4 years ago

    God pick up by the cubs..The Pirates seriously belong in some sort of AAAA League, going on their third decade of refusing to compete

    • Roy Munson 4 years ago

      Good pickup*

    • arthur3 4 years ago

      Pirates would have paid this scrub almost $10 mil to pick up his option for this year. Not picking up his option made sense not only economically, but in the truest professional sense. Only a team that would look up at the Pirates in the standings would consider him a legitimate starter. Ah yes, the Cubs….

  24. One thing you reviewers are OVERLOOKING! Paul is a GROUNDBALL PITCHER, great fit for the Friendly Confines

    • Mikey Roederer 4 years ago

      by that line of reasoning we should be looking at Brandon Webb too…While both groundball pitchers, when those balls don’t get down enough the end up in the street…The wind in Wrigley blows out as often as in

  25. thebigdog 4 years ago

    Theo Einstein stealing the Pittsburgh model for winning baseball.. Bwaahaahaahaa

  26. He will go 5-12 for the Cubs.  But three of his wins will be against the Pirates.  One of which will be a complete game, one hit masterpiece…in Pittsburgh. 

  27. Dave_Gershman 4 years ago

    How does this have anything to do with the Garza talks? They are both just occurring at the same time.

  28. Leonard Washington 4 years ago

    It may have happened a bit before but I think the trading of the cubs top pitching prospect signaled Garza’s departure. He WILL be traded soon. Its going to happen. Pipe dreams and dumb luck aside the Cubs arn’t competing for a few years and Garza will be gone by then. Might as well maximize the return now. 

  29. jayrig5 4 years ago

    I’d be more inclined to agree if Theo hadn’t said he wanted to build up the pitching depth to 8 or 9 serviceable starters.  I’m not saying they’re not related, but I don’t think they’re penciling in Sonnanstine or Wells just yet.  

  30. CaseyBlakeDeWitt 4 years ago

    What did the letter “u” ever do to you buddy?

  31. michael hughes 4 years ago

    I know Screw University hasn’t fielded a good baseball team for a few years now but I don’t think Malhom ever pitched for them.

  32. tdot32 4 years ago

    ouch. lol

  33. Gigantes2425 4 years ago

    Rofl. This made me actually lol

  34. sourbob 4 years ago

    Why does a team that has been considering dealing a starter signing someone to take his place mean that the trade might finally happen?

    I don’t know how to answer that, since the answer is in the question.

  35. jhfdssdaf 4 years ago

    The advantage of Maholm over those other starters is that his groundball tendancies are likely to play well at Wrigley.  If he pitches well, he has trade value, and may net you a mid-level prospect or two at the deadline.

  36. BDLugz 4 years ago

    Find me one quality MLB starter willing to sign a 1 year, $1 million dollar salary.  Claiming this is a bad move is crazy – it’s a one year deal worth under $5 million for a #4 quality starter.

  37. jb226 4 years ago

    “Well we had a trade for Matt Garza, but we just couldn’t find a body to take his rotation spot!”

    Nah, I don’t think so.  The lack of Paul Maholm would not have gotten in the way of trading Garza if it was going to happen, nor would an impending Garza trade make it more urgent to get Maholm signed.  Not for this team in the condition it is in.  Besides which, even if Garza is gone and Maholm wasn’t signed we have a lot of pitchers that could start: Dempster, Wells, Wood, Volstad are pretty much guaranteed spots, with people like Coleman, Samardzjia, Sonnanstine and possibly McNutt likely trying to win a spot in ST and the Cubs maintaining interest in bringing back others like Rodrigo Lopez.

    They’re related in that both are pitchers and might wave at each other in passing in and out of Chicago, but that’s about it.

  38. jb226 4 years ago

    Much as I hate to say it as a Cubs fan, I agree.  The only one the Cubs give a serious run for their money at this point is the Astros.  The Pirates are iffy but if the season began today I’d guess they finish slightly above the Cubs.

  39. jb226 4 years ago

    I agree.  I have questioned some of the returns in the trades, but the questions for me have been relatively mild.  Overall I like the direction and more importantly, I like the resolve and the aggressiveness.  Jim Hendry would have been out scouring the free agent market for a left handed power hitter and called it an offseason like they were going to contend.

    Just waiting for Theo and Jed to pull the trigger on a Garza trade now.  I’m optimistic that Cubs fans are going to be very happy with the return from it.

Leave a Reply