Cubs Close To Deal With Paul Maholm

11:26am: The Cubs are close on Maholm, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.

10:59am: The Cubs and free agent lefty Paul Maholm are trying to work out an agreement, tweets Bruce Levine of ESPNChicago.  Maholm has been linked to several other suitors this offseason, but most have since added starters.

The Cubs' current projected rotation has Matt Garza, Ryan Dempster, Chris Volstad, Travis Wood, and Randy Wells, perhaps with Andy Sonnanstine and Casey Coleman in the mix for the fifth starter job.  In theory, signing Maholm could give the Cubs the depth to move Garza, even if Maholm is more of a back-end guy.

110 Responses to Cubs Close To Deal With Paul Maholm Leave a Reply

  1. formerdraftpick 3 years ago

    If at first they don’t succeed, try try again.

    • Friarfaith 3 years ago

      What the heck is jed hoyer doin with the cubs… This is the worst roster ive seen in years at wrigley.

      • BDLugz 3 years ago

        Fixing them.

      • Philip Marlowe 3 years ago

        I guess you don’t miss Anthony Rizzo too much, huh?

      • michael hughes 3 years ago

        Well they lost 91 games last year so how much worse could they get? There aren’t many teams with a lack of a lot of promising young players that can turn around and compete a year or two after nearly losing one hundred games. They’re changing the whole philosophy of the team so that they don’t wind up with albatrosses like Zambrano, Soriano, and Bradley anymore.

  2. FNDomination 3 years ago

    Yuck. If this means Garza is getting moved though, I guess I can stomach the suck of Paul Maholm. 

    • Rangersfan32 3 years ago

      Wow, you’re being rough on him. He hardly sucks at all. He’s no ace, but he’ll be a really good 4-5 guy.

      • jhfdssdaf 3 years ago

        He’ll fit in well with the other six 4/5 guys in the rotation.

  3. CUbs can not and will not sing anyone until a spot on 40 man roster is open. this means Soriano, Byrd or Dempster must be traded for low level prospect in order to sign more FA…

  4. You can do a lot worse than Paul Maholm.

    • Gigantes2425 3 years ago

      But Paul maholm can’t do much worse then the cubs

      • Philip Marlowe 3 years ago

        I’m sure he’d rather pitch for the Cubs than the Astros, Orioles, or Nippon Ham Fighters. 

        • bonds2425 3 years ago

          highly doubtful. he’s probably going to toss in his sleep just thinking about why he’s not going to be living in texas or baltimore.

  5. Adam D 3 years ago

    Garza out, Tigers high level prospects in?  Yes, pls.

    • EightMileCats 3 years ago

      Please no…
      I like Garza, but I wouldn’t want to give up much more than Turner. Def not Turner

      • EightMileCats 3 years ago

        Def not Turner and Castellanos
        I hate my phone sometimes

        • BDLugz 3 years ago

          We’ll settle for Turner and Smyly.

          • EightMileCats 3 years ago

            I still lean towards no myself… But I could see DD pulling the trigger on that.
            I’d do Turner, Crosby, and Fields…
            But i dunno

        • Philip Marlowe 3 years ago

          If you’re not giving up Turner, what about Porcello? 

          Also, I think no matter what, if Garza goes to the Tigers, Castellanos comes back in the deal.

          • BDLugz 3 years ago

            I don’t think they’ll give up Castellanos no matter what.

          • EightMileCats 3 years ago

            I’m not say I wouldn’t give up Turner.  I’m saying I wouldn’t give up Turner and Castellanos.  
            I’d do Turner, Crosby/Oliver, and Fields or something similar.    

  6. Maholm is a steady groundball pitcher, knows the NL Central, and should be a solid acquisition for Wrigley Field. 

    • Blue387 3 years ago

      I’ve seen him pitch against the Mets. He would work best with a good defense and a big park like PETCO. The Pirates defense did not do him justice.

  7. bigpat 3 years ago

    Not a bad signing at all. He’s nothing special but has been miscast in Pittsburgh as a top 3 starter, if he’s a 4-5, you can do MUCH worse. 

  8. This move doesn’t make ANY sense to me. The Cubs are going to be historically awful for at least next season… Why not just throw another kid out there to pitch? Why waste money on a vet that won’t be around to contribute when the team has success?

    • Encarnacion's Parrot 3 years ago

      And with no farm system, which kid do you expect to pitch? The move makes perfect sense. Maholm will probably sign for 2 years max.

      • Just because the Cubs farm system is horrible, doesn’t mean players don’t exist. Pick a kid… any kid. Doesn’t really matter. The team will lose 100 games next year.

        • Encarnacion's Parrot 3 years ago

          Well, if we’re going to be hysterical, because management still wants to field a team that can prevent losing 100 games? It’s kinda bad business for your FO to publically state “yeah, we suck, so we’re going to fill holes with our AAA (not even deserving an extra A) players instead of signing someone capable.”

        • Rangersfan32 3 years ago

          So you want to ruin whatever decent pitching prospects you do have by calling them up way too soon? You guys really would suck worse then.

          • jhfdssdaf 3 years ago

            What decent prospect?  If they had one, the Cubs wouldn’t suck quite so bad.

            That being said, I like the Maholm signing anyway.  Better to sign him and trade him if he has sucess.

          • Philip Marlowe 3 years ago

            The Cubs have several good (not top-notch, but definitely good) pitching prospects. Jay Jackson, Trey McNutt, Dillon Maples, and Hayden Simpson are all potential Major League starters, with Jackson and McNutt likely to appear in the big leagues later this year. 

            I get that you’re a hater, but everybody knows that a good hater at least does his research. Admittedly, there’s plenty to rip on about the Cubs (sigh…), but making blanket assumptions with no basis such as just makes you look childish.

          • BDLugz 3 years ago

            Jay Jackson fell off a cliff and isn’t likely to see any time in the majors anytime soon unless he fixes his delivery.

          • jhfdssdaf 3 years ago

            If McNutt appears in the big leagues this year, it’s likely going to be in the bullpen, not the rotation.  Unless he finally starts developing his changeup, he’s a waste in the starting rotation.

            Beyond McNutt, I don’t see anyone else listed who’s likely to be a top of the rotation starter.  While 3-5 starters have value too, there are alot more of them available.

            It’s all well and good to attack people who joke about your team, but please don’t assume that jokers don’t do research.  There is nothing in the story above that requires much research.  Maholm is a good signing if it happens (which you’ll note that I pointed out).

            As to Steve Wilmoth’s original point, it is also valid.  The Cubs have plenty of wastes in their farm system who they can call up to pitch as well, to save money.  For me, I’d start Samardzija.  Either he has the potential to be a starter, or he doesn’t.  If he doesn’t, find out now.

        • jb226 3 years ago

          There is more to consider than simply filling a roster spot with any warm body you can find, like the development of that pitcher himself.  Calling players up to the Majors before they are ready does not help anybody.  It hurts your team (“so what” in the Cubs’ case), it hurts the pitcher, it hurts any trade value the player might have otherwise had, and you save… a little money?  Nah.

          Besides which, if Theo and Jed are smart–and I have no reason to believe they are not–they will shop players like this at the deadline, essentially turning money into prospects.  Contending teams can always use a solid lefty for the stretch run.  The return won’t be huge, but we’ve already established Maholm wouldn’t be blocking anybody and it is one of the few ways left that a big team can find a prospect advantage.  Why not?

    • The same reason I don’t think they should resign Wood. Unless it’s a multi-year deal.

    • sourbob 3 years ago

      Because they have a bullpen to develop, too. And if they go with too many kids in the rotation, they’ll end up overworking their bullpen, which doesn’t help anything. You need some innings out of your starting five. Maholm is good for that, compared to kids anyway.

    • jammin502 3 years ago

      Because the goal is to get these guys at a low cost and if they start the year off good, they can flip them for prospects in July.  If they don’t do very well then it was a low sunk cost.

    • jammin502 3 years ago

      Because the goal is to get these guys at a low cost and if they start the year off good, they can flip them for prospects in July.  If they don’t do very well then it was a low sunk cost.

    • BD 3 years ago

      Well, Maholm will be 30 this summer.  If they do get better in the next 2-3 years, the could still be around.  Because it could be a multi-year deal, or have some options, or at least they could give him a try and keep him.  Not saying it’s the move that saves the year, but it gives them depth and options.

    • rockfordone 3 years ago

      Its called the trade deadline

    • scott brecht 3 years ago

      so you want to bring the kids up, start their service time while they are in way over their heads and hit arbitration and free agency earlier, ask them to pitch 200 innings as a starter, probably twice as much as they have ever thrown?  might as well sign dusty baker to manage if that is your strategy.  

  9. diesel2410 3 years ago

    Ha that’s a terrible rotation. No wonder why they won’t be going anywhere soon

    • BDLugz 3 years ago

      It’s not nearly as bad as what we had last year with Rodrigo Lopez and James Russel taking our #4 and #5 starting spots due to injury.

    • aaron b 3 years ago

      Luckily we make up for it with a historically bad offense. Methinks the goal is 120 losses this year.

      • cubs are already much better than they were last year.

        • jhfdssdaf 3 years ago

          So Stewart is better than Ramirez?  Wood is better than Marshall?  They are going to improve the rotation when they trade Garza?  Volstad may remove the Zambrano headache, but he’s not as good of a pitcher.

          The Cubs improved the back end of their rotation, but health alone would have done that.  Overall, they are worse than last year, especially if Garza is traded.

          That being said, they weren’t likely to compete in 2012 anyway.  The Reds, Cardinals and Brewers all have much better teams right now.  This move, as with all others Theo has made, is targeting a couple of years down the road, when the Cubs farm is rebuilt and they start competing every year.

          • No I disagree. Wood will not be the 8th inning guy-he will be a starter.  Wood is better than their #4/5 starter last year, as is Volstad, as is Maholm.  Is Rizzo/LaHair better than Pena?  Prob. yes.  Is DeJesus better than Fukodome? Yes.  Stewart is a different kind of player and he’s cheaper than Ramirez.  He might not be better but per dollar of salary yes he’s better.  Is the bench better? Yes. The Cubs are already better.  They may not win the division but they will be much better than most ppl think.  More importantly they have a sustainable long term plan taking shape, but yeah they’re also better.  BTW Stewart is routinely near the league leaders in pitches per AB

          • stewart ranks high in pitches per ab.  Per dollar of salary yes he’s better than Ramirez.  Rizzo/LaHair>Pena (and cheaper); DeJesus>Fukudome; Bench better. Wood is a starter not a reliever; rotation better.  Cubs are much cheaper younger and gosh darnit, better

          • jhfdssdaf 3 years ago

            Better long term, yes.  Better in 2012?  Nope.  They’ll finish with a worse record in 2012 than in 2011.

  10. kevintbach 3 years ago

    I would like this for any team. SP depth is great to have.

    I do agree that this move doesn’t change the 2012 outlook for the Cubs.

  11. mondaymorninggm 3 years ago

    o jesus, with garza gone that has to be the worst staff in all of baseball. can anyone think of anyone worse??

  12. nycub 3 years ago

    Cubs need this pitching depth. Hopefully it’s for the right price.

  13. nycub 3 years ago

    Cubs need this pitching depth. Hopefully it’s for the right price.

  14. Maholm is a good person first and foremost, have some respect.
    He’s put up some decent numbers against #1 starters with the Pirates, come on, give the guy some slack.  I wish the Pirates would resign him.

  15. cachhubguy 3 years ago

    Casey Coleman sucks and will never start for the Cubs again.

  16. Funkhouser Jr. 3 years ago

    From a strictly surface-level perspective, I like this move.  I think Maholm is a good #3 rotation pitcher.  However, this probably means Garza will be moved, which I’m a little unhappy about (unless we are able to bring in some high quality prospects).  Otherwise, our rotation would be: Matt Garza, Ryan Dempster, Paul Maholm, Travis Wood, Chris Volstad (with Randy Wells, Andy Sonnanstine and Casey Campbell on the outside looking in).  I like the depth (for now).

  17. Mikey Roederer 3 years ago

    Everyone says its Garza that is getting moved, but what about Dempster? He could be had I would think..I don’t know the status of a NTC or anything but if a team eats most of his salary and gives us a fringe prospect I would do it..that would open some more cash up this year for a Garza extension…

    • jhfdssdaf 3 years ago

      $14 million for a below average pitcher last year?  No team is going to “eat most of his salary”.  At best, the Cubs only have to eat $10 million or so, and even then the prospect in return would barely qualify as fringe.  Garza nets you two or three decent prospects (or two top prospects and two other good ones, if you believe Theo).

      Bottom line- At this point, Garza has value, Dempster does not.  If he pitches well for the first few weeks, Dempster may get traded.  Right now, no one wants him.

  18. tfsmag 3 years ago

    Maholm wasn’t bad at all last year. His low ERA makes me think he’s a very good option for the back end of the rotation.

  19. slider32 3 years ago

    I agree, don’t bring up the young pitcher until their ready.

  20. Not sure if this was brought up already but in a older post on this site Mr. Maholm is a 52.7% groundball pitcher, and last I checked the grass in Wrigley is very friendly to groundball pitchers…smart signing

  21. Friarfaith 3 years ago

    Can somone explain to me what the heck jed hoyer is doing or thinking? Every move he makes … Makes me wanna cry for chicago.

    • Cosmo3 3 years ago

      Well Friarfaith…the last move (read “robbery”) he pulled made me want to cry for the Pads

    • Beersy 3 years ago

      Hoyer has nothing to do with any of these moves if you listen to this site.  It’s always “Theo this and Theo that”.  Of course with this being a move that isn’t as flashy as getting Rizzo for next to nothing, Hoyer will probably be blamed for this one.  Jed should have just ridden out what he started in San Diego.  sigh.

  22. xmo2rep 3 years ago

    As a dedicated Cardinal fan let me just add:   nah, you little Brown Bear fans are doing it to yourselves. But what if, just what if, The Prince is signed? Does that make Theo decide to go for prospects and look to 2013/14  or does he say, “I think we can still do something meaningful!”  

  23. Maholm will win the Cy Young!  I’m going to Vegas

  24. Nate Riggs 3 years ago

    Why would you ever want to just throw a kind out there? Even more important why would you do it if he’s not ready all you’ll accomplish is ruining his confidence and make it harder for him to be successful in the bigs….

  25. stewie75 3 years ago

    the only people bashing theo and jed are the ones who don’t truly understand how empty the entire system is. the new rules for paying overslot and int’l guys restricts even more. the cubs are going to trade garza because he can bring in prospects that we couldn’t otherwise purchase overslot with the new CBA. we’ll be able to sign whatever #2 pitcher we want, money won’t be an issue in free agency, but adding to the farm under the new cba WILL be an issue. other fans can call jed/theo stupid and clown these moves but at the end of the day, it’s our team not yours, and we’re actually behind this.

  26. I really don’t understand what’s so special about Maholm..We have Garza why give up a guy like Garza…We gave up Big Z for almost nothing in return…Giving up Garza would be a glaring loop hole in the Starting rotation…the Cubs starting pitching would be weak without Garza..Is Hoyer turning the Cubs into a Padre’s type team..?..I would try a make a pitch at trading Garza to the Angels…look at the farm system they have..and besides they are trying to move a first baseman  the Angels have a log jam of first basemen…..since they have the Almighty ALBERT..there now…what do they do…I would try and get Trumbo for Garza…straight up…this way both teams could get what they want Angels getting a above average pitcher and the Cubs solve the 1st base issue…Lahair is not a real solution..   

    • jhfdssdaf 3 years ago

      The Cubs just acquired Rizzo.  They don’t need another first baseman, and creating a “glaring loop hole” in the rotation hurts only if you expected to compete this year.  At best, the Cubs are the fourth best team in the division, and that is only if Pittsburgh outperformed last year.  They aren’t going to win the division without Garza, but they weren’t going to win with him either.

      Trading to the Tigers for Turner makes sense.  He’s young and talented, and comes with six years of team control, compared to two years of Garza.  Restocking the farm system to produce consistent winners is the goal.  Look at the teams that make the playoffs every year.  For most of them, there is a core of players from the farm, supplemented by free agents.  Right now, the farm is seriously depleted, and there were several bad contracts left from Hendry.  The rebuild will take a few years, but Theo and Hoyer are off to a good start.

      As for why sign Maholm?  Is there something special?  Not necessarily.  He’s a decent starter, and a ground ball pitcher, which indicates that he could see improved performance at Wrigley.  If he doesn’t, well, at least he fills out the rotation.  If his performance is pretty good, he becomes trade bait for an even greater improvement for the future.

  27. ratmoss 3 years ago

    The sight of Doug Davis and/or Rodrigo Lopez would make me vomit in my mouth a little bit.  I’ll take cringe over vomit.

  28. maxbelmont 3 years ago

    Lopez had a few decent games, but in no way do I want to see him back.

  29. Cubs27 3 years ago

    Don’t forget Ramon Ortiz.

  30. nycub 3 years ago

    Cy Young ’12

  31. xcal1br 3 years ago

    I love your handle.

  32. vtadave 3 years ago

    This isn’t much better:

    1. Erik Bedard
    2. James McDonald
    3. Jeff Karstens
    4. Kevin Correia
    5. Brad Lincoln / Charlie Morton

  33. Tko11 3 years ago

    Are you sure that he is more like a 3?

  34. Rangersfan32 3 years ago

    Yes he’s a decent 3 if a teams rotation is poor enough. 3 on a bad team (Cubs), good 4 or 5 on a good team.

  35. Jon Melton 3 years ago

    If he pitches well in the first half flip him for prospects.

  36. Jon Melton 3 years ago

    If he pitches well in the first half flip him for prospects.

  37. nicktrombino 3 years ago

    Doubt wood would be in the rotation?

    Scratch that forgot there was another wood…

    So much wood 😉

  38. nicktrombino 3 years ago

    Doubt wood would be in the rotation?

    Scratch that forgot there was another wood…

    So much wood 😉

  39. aaron b 3 years ago

    He sees Maholm more like a 3

  40. stl_cards16 3 years ago

    That’s just “Manny being Manny”

  41. Hoosier_Oriole 3 years ago

    I do believe he thinks he’s a 3.

    Go O’s!

  42. aaron b 3 years ago

    We MIGHT VERY WELL lose 115 games. We have downgraded every single position on a team that won 71 games.

    It’ll be a miracle if we win 60.

  43. MaineSox 3 years ago

     What gives you that idea?

  44. slider32 3 years ago

    Lester is the only one of those five you can count on, seems not so good.

  45. jhfdssdaf 3 years ago

    Have you seen the roster?  The current Cubs rotation/roster (less Garza) would be lucky to finish .500 in the Pacific Coast league.

  46. MaineSox 3 years ago

    You can pretty safely count on 28-30 starts worth of good pitching from Beckett, and with Buchholz being fully healthy at this point there’s no reason not to count on him.

  47. Philip Marlowe 3 years ago

    Certainly comparable.

    1. Jeremy Guthrie
    2. Zach Britton
    3. Brian Matusz
    4. Tsuyoshi Wada
    5. Jake Arrieta

  48. BDLugz 3 years ago

    We’ve upgraded our #4-5 pitcher SIGNIFICANTLY.  You can’t discount the benefit of not having RoLo and James Russell starting for you.  Also, there are plenty of candidates for bounce back years.  All we’ve really downgraded on offense is losing Ramirez.  Pena’s offense can be replaced by LeHair/Rizzo.

  49. if cubs fans understood baseball they wouldn’t be cubs fans

  50. bmoneyy20 3 years ago

    why dont other people understand this? 

  51. jb226 3 years ago

    Meanwhile, the Cubs are adding “serviceable” pitchers who can sorta bridge the gap for a few years.

    And at least in Maholm’s case, one that the team will likely be able to flip at the deadline.  Solid lefties are always in demand, and the Cubs could easily eat any remaining money on the deal — in essence, turning money into prospects.

    Spot on with the rest.  The only thing I would say is that not only would I not be upset if the Cubs lost 100 games in 2012 and 2013, I think I would prefer it.  If you’re going to suck, might as well suck all the way and get the better draft pick.  The Cubs need all the help they can get.

  52. mypoorbuccos 3 years ago

    Also pretty sigh-inducing:

    1. Scott Baker
    2. Carl Pavano
    3. Frankie Liriano
    4. Jason Marquis
    5. Nick Blackburn/Brian Duensing/Anthony Swarzak

  53. Hoosier_Oriole 3 years ago

    Looks pretty good to me. Don’t forget Chen Wei-Yin, or is it Wei Yin Chen? Beats me. We (O’s) were allegedly looking at Maholm. I thought it would have been a good move, so, I guess, Cubs Win!

    Go O’s!

  54. michael hughes 3 years ago

    I doubt anyone’s giving up any impact prospects for a guy like Maholm, but that doesn’t mean signing him is “wasting money”. There is financial value to not losing 100 games and Malholm could easily add more value to the team than it costs to sign him.

  55. i disagree. the cubs are not as bad as you think. the lineup is pretty good already

    Byrd – DeJesus – Soriano – Rizzo/LaHair – Stewart – Castro – Barney – Soto-that is a fairly balanced lineup, w/o usual weaknesses of C and SS.

    If they iron out the staff they will be much much better than last year.

  56. jhfdssdaf 3 years ago

    I was joking with the .500 comment, but “much better than last year” is beyond a stretch.  As streaky as Ramirez can be, Stewart just isn’t anywhere near him offensively.  DeJesus and LaHair may be adequate replacements, but are not significant improvements at their respective positions, and I don’t expect Barney to continue to perform at the same level as last year.  He strikes me as a utility infielder long term.

    Ironing out the staff will take work.  A trade of Garza, and the staff is worse than last year.  He’s really the only quality pitcher they have right now.  Volstad should replace a majority of what little Zambrano provided last year, but a rotation of 2 #3 starters (Dempster and Maholm, and that’s generous for Dempster of late) and 3 #5’s won’t be able to compete in the NL Central.

    Add to this a downgrade in the bullpen with the departure of Marshall and likely departure of Wood, and you have a team which loses at least five more games than last year, probably more.  They should still finish ahead of Houston, but 100 losses are not out of the question.

  57. If they get Turner the staff will be better! Turner  Dempster Maholm Wood Volstad. Holy cow man you need a new pair of glasses.  That’s not even taking into account who else they sign to pitch. Yeah they lose some by giving up Garza…maybe they lose a lot but the mid and back end of the rotation is much better

  58. also you ignore little things like defense, obp, patience at the plate (not to mention salary and years of team control).  these are things at which players like DeJesus and Stewart do better.  these are things that also improve your clubs pitching

  59. jhfdssdaf 3 years ago

    Years of team control and salary don’t help you win ballgames in one year.  Years of team control is a great improvement to the 2014 Cubs.  I think they have a much better future now than before Theo took over.  The moves have greatly improved their chances of future success in 2014 and beyond.  I just don’t think that translates to wins in 2012.

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