Blog Entry

Paul Maholm agrees to sign with Cubs

Posted on: January 9, 2012 5:55 pm
Edited on: January 10, 2012 9:13 am

By Matt Snyder

Free agent starting pitcher Paul Maholm has signed with the Cubs. The news was broken by, well, Maholm. On his own Twitter feed, following a tweet where he thanked the city of Pittsburgh, Maholm said: "I hope to get to continue some great things when I visit [Pittsburgh] and start some great things as I start my Cubs career."

He also added that he'll be at the Cubs Convention to meet fans starting Friday.

The contract is one year, worth a reported $4.25 million with a $6.5 million club option for 2013 (ESPN Chicago). Maholm had a $9.75 million option declined by the Pirates.

Maholm, 29, has spent his entire seven season career in the NL Central with the Pirates, so he's certainly familiar with the terrain. The left-hander went 6-14 with a 3.66 ERA and 1.29 WHIP last season, fighting off some pretty bad luck in terms of run support -- in 14 of his 26 starts the Pirates scored two runs or less.


New Cubs president Theo Epstein and general manager Jed Hoyer have maintained throughout the offseason they are looking to build organizational pitching depth. Adding Maholm comes on the heels of signing Andy Sonnanstine while also trading for Travis Wood and Chris Volstad.

Then again, Maholm is a big-league starter -- even if you want to just say he's a fifth starter -- and the Cubs already have five in their prospective rotation: Matt Garza, Ryan Dempster, Randy Wells, Volstad and Wood. And Sonnanstine is there to provide a fill-in should injuries arise. So what does adding Maholm on the cheap accomplish? Well, the Garza trade rumors won't go away, so there's probably something to them. Adding Maholm could possibly be a tell-tale sign Garza is headed elsewhere for prospects.

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Since: Mar 15, 2008
Posted on: January 11, 2012 9:11 am

Paul Maholm agrees to sign with Cubs

The Cubs are not a good defensive team
perhaps the most obvious statement ever made.

let me add a few more.....The Cubs are not a fundamentaly sound team. The Cubs are not a fast team. The Cubs are not a hustling team. The Cubs are not a well coached team. The Cubs are not a good situational team. The Cubs are not a good bunting team. The Cubs are not a good pitching team. The Cubs are not a good hitting team. The Cubs are not a patient at the plate team. The Cubs are not a passionate team. 

So bottom line......a complete remake is needed from the front office to the back office to the playing field...everything. So if thats what the new guys are doing then it's a start.

Since: Dec 7, 2006
Posted on: January 10, 2012 5:23 pm

Paul Maholm agrees to sign with Cubs

The Cubs are not a good defensive team. They were among the league leaders in errors last year.

The Cubs made 134 errors to the Pirates 112. Castro made 29 errors, and would have made more if not for Carlos Pena at 1st.

Darwin Barney made 12 errors last year, Neil Walker made 6. Ronny Cedeno made 13 errors, though in like 20 less games than Castro. Still, the Cub middle infield is not very good. True Castro has range but you hurt your team making so many errors in a year. I don't see the number going down, especially with Pena not there.

Carlos Pena had a fielding pct of .993, playing in 153 games. I don't know how good a first baseman Bryan LaHair is, but he better be close to Pena. Same with Rizzo.

For sure Stewart should be better defensively than Ramirez, but the problem is how much can he play? Do Cub fans want Jeff Baker playing anywhere?

Pat Maholm will be 30 next June. He'll give the Cubs innings but he is not a pitcher a team rebuilds on, he's really just a guy. Dempster can give the Cubs 200 innings, not sure if Maholm can. Close enough I guess.

Since: Mar 15, 2008
Posted on: January 10, 2012 1:37 pm

Paul Maholm agrees to sign with Cubs

Dempster had played good for the last 8 years.

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his salary is 13.5 million and was 10-14 with an ERA of 4.80 last year and has rarely been better than just decent.....he is just another stupid left over contract from the nitwit Hendry</form>

Since: Mar 15, 2008
Posted on: January 10, 2012 1:27 pm

Paul Maholm agrees to sign with Cubs

nothing wrong with this hopefully we'll get rid of Dempster...i know... i'm dreaming 

Since: Jan 9, 2009
Posted on: January 10, 2012 12:39 pm

Paul Maholm agrees to sign with Cubs

Slammin6 - For one, Ian Stewart was in the majors last year.  His career fielding % at 3rd is .958.  In 2009 and 2010 where he played the most games @ 3rd his percentage was .969 and .964.  MLB avearge is .954 which is above average.  

As far as the others - Yes, Castro was bad but he has range and with the coaching staff emphasizing on fielding, I guarantee the fielding will be much better this year.  

LaHair - not sure about him but his limited fielding at 1B between Seattle and Cubs is .994.

Darwin Barney - had a .981 percentage at 3rd.

Yes, the Cubs on paper look like they are going to be bad BUT - if the pitching and defense show up, they can be in games.  

Yes, I will continue to drink the cool-aod, beer, shots, etc. but as a life-long Cub fan - this is the first time I have witnessed:

1. Private Owner that cares
2. President, GM, Souting Team all on the same page
3. True rebuild

There will be bumps in the road but like I said, they can contend in this division - STL and MIL both losing key players.  CIN will be good.   


Since: Jan 5, 2012
Posted on: January 10, 2012 12:29 pm

Paul Maholm agrees to sign with Cubs

He's definitely worth the money.  At least your not paying him the $13 mil that we're paying Lohse.  Trade ya!

Since: Jun 25, 2010
Posted on: January 10, 2012 11:06 am

Paul Maholm agrees to sign with Cubs

Clearly, Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer are taking a long-range approach to rebuilding the Cubbies. Adding someone like Maholm is a sign that they are trying to fill the 2012 rotation with guys that will eat innings and get them through the year. This team, as it stands, has a very weak rotation that is headed up by Matt Garza, who is rumored to be on his way to Detroit, or anywhere else that Epstein can pry away some prospects for the long run. If Ryan Dempster is the Cubs opening day starter, it will be a very, very long season. Wait 'til next year, sounds more and more like, wait 'til 2014/2015.

Since: Aug 20, 2006
Posted on: January 10, 2012 8:26 am

Paul Maholm agrees to sign with Cubs

Stop already, the Cubs infield is brutal defensively.  Ian Stewart above average?? Based on what his minor league season last year?
Maholm is garbage and the Cubs are gonna stink out loud which is no suprise. Just trade Garza to a contender Theo for the next Rizzo like prospect.  Just keep drinking the cool aid, beer & shots Cubs fans...Theo will save you all! 

Since: Jan 9, 2009
Posted on: January 10, 2012 5:44 am

Paul Maholm agrees to sign with Cubs

Yes, he is a big time ground ball pitcher. Hence, the new Cubs regime is trying to build a better defensive infield. Ian Stewart is an above average 3rd, Castro committed a ton of errors and hopefully that goes down, Barney is decent, and LaHair better be ready - not positive about his D. But I've read that Rizzo is a above average.

Since: Jun 3, 2010
Posted on: January 9, 2012 11:57 pm

Paul Maholm agrees to sign with Cubs

My two cents: Dempster is more a trade deadline candidate. He has an expiring contract and there will surely be at least one team looking to add a rental arm for the pennant race in July. The Cubs will have much more leverage with him at that point in time.

- Matt

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