NL Central Notes: Maholm, Garza, Phillips

The Cardinals, Brewers, Reds, Cubs and Astros have all grabbed headlines on MLBTR today. Here's the latest on the NL Central, starting with a longtime Pirates pitcher…

  • Left-hander Paul Maholm told Kevin Kennedy and Jim Duquette on MLB Network Radio that he wanted to sign with an NL Central team. The Pirates expressed some interest in the left-hander, but the Cubs ultimately signed him.
  • Cubs GM Jed Hoyer told Casey Stern and Jim Bowden on MLB Network Radio that he wanted to sign Maholm because of his youth, sinker and competitiveness. 
  • Hoyer says the Cubs are happy to have obtained some starting pitching depth and downplayed the idea that Matt Garza will be dealt now that Maholm's aboard. "Because we have six starters doesn't mean we're going to pare down to five by any means," he said. 
  • Cincinnati second baseman Brandon Phillips told told Stern and Bowden he was happy to see the Reds pick his option up earlier in the offseason. He says he’s now focused on the upcoming season and doesn’t sound optimistic that an extension will be finalized any time soon. Phillips expressed his desire for an extension earlier in the offseason, explaining that he’s not going to give the Reds a hometown discount. "There’s no homeboy hookup. That ain’t going to work," Phillips said.