Paul Maholm is Reportedly on the Cubs Radar

The Cubs could reunite with a former starter after all this winter. According to a report from Mark Gonzalez, Paul Maholm is likely on the Cubs’ radar and could be an option if they are unable to sign Masahiro Tanaka. Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer have said they planned to add at least one starting pitcher to the roster this winter.

Scott Baker and Jason Hammel could be options as well and Gonzalez added Joe Saunders to the list of possibilities. According to the report, Carlos Villanueva will be stretched out as a starter this spring.

The Cubs signed Paul Maholm in January of 2012 after the Pirates did not pick-up his option and allowed him to hit the market. Maholm announced on his Twitter account he agreed to terms with the Cubs. Maholm inked a one-year deal worth $4.75 million that included a $6.5 million option for the 2013 season.

Paul Maholm put up very good numbers in a short time with the Cubs. Maholm was 9-6 in 21 games, 20 starts, with a 3.74 ERA and a 1.24 WHIP before he was traded to the Braves at the deadline. The Cubs shipped Maholm, Reed Johnson and cash to Atlanta for Arodys Vizcaino and Jaye Chapman. Maholm went 4-5 in 11 starts for the Braves with a 3.54 ERA and a 1.19 WHIP. Maholm struggled with injuries last season and posted a 10-11 record in 26 starts for Atlanta with a 4.41 ERA and a 1.41 WHIP.

Chris Bosio was able to turn around Paul Maholm the first time. The veteran lefty had one of his best seasons in 2012.

The front office has been looking into options outside of Matt Garza, Ervin Santana and Ubaldo Jimenez to add at least one starter to the mix this winter if they are not able to sign their off-season target. Paul Maholm is the latest addition to a list that includes Scott Baker, Jason Hammel, Joe Saunders and possibly Joel Pineiro.

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  • Ripsnorter1

    Tanaka isn’t coming here. Sign both Baker and Maholm.

    • J Daniel

      I would agree with you, Rip! I think the signing of both would help make the staff respectable. Both would be good back end pitchers on a good team and would add professionalism. Allows them to move EJax later in the year. Resign Smarj and count on him as a #3. Then, somehow, need to get a #1 and a #2.

    • cubtex

      Really? I thought he was a shoe in to sign here :)

      • Ripsnorter1

        IMO, PR move.

        • cubtex

          I don’t think it was a PR move but as many have said….If you have a choice to go to a team that should be in the playoffs or the Cubs? Cmon. No chance at all.

  • Ripsnorter1

    The things about Maholm and Baker:

    Both are early thirties in 2014. Maholm on June 25 will be 32. Baker turns 33 on Sept 19.

    Both are bounce-back-from-injuries pitchers. Baker had elbow trouble and missed 1/3 of 2011, all of 2012, and almost all of 2013 (he made 3 starts in 2013). Maholm injured his wrist in June 2013, and then had elbow woes in September 2013. He missed 6 starts.

    Both are 4.00 ERA type of starting pitchers. Baker’s career ERA is 4.14; Maholm is 4.28.

    Both have won at least 10 games in a season three times. Baker once won 15 games; Maholm’s top year was 13 wins.

    Both are on the downside of their careers. Maholm is getting more prone to turning flyballs into HRs; Baker has always been an extreme flyball pitcher. If healthy, they each can pitch well enough to win 10 games for us. If they are not fully recovered….

    Both are control pitchers. Baker has always had fine command of the strike zone. He has averaged 2.1 BB per 9 IP over his career. Maholm has walked about 2.9 batters per 9 IP.

    Both should be cheap to sign.

    Let’s face it: 2014 is a lost year already. These two can help us win a few extra games, and keep a few extra fans in the seats. If Team Theo keeps bleeding attendance, further erosion of the Cubs’ finances will continue, and that will impact the team’s ability to build a winner.

    • Tony_Hall

      Now you are getting it!

      Cubs still ranked 12th in MLB in attendance in 2013. Attendance has fallen every year since the peak in 2008. Personally, I believe 2009 was the last time we made the trip into Wrigley.

      2013 – 2,642,682

      Which is back to the attendance levels of 1998-2002. But prior to 1998, only one season was better and that was 1993 (4th in NL East at 84-78).

      Attendance will continue to drop until there is excitement for the major league team, which I believe will occur when 2 players arrive, Baez and Bryant. If all the Cubs cared about is attendance, they would start both Baez and Bryant this year at Wrigley and get the short term spike in attendance that would follow.

      • Dorasaga

        Do you think that was why the Hendry regime promoted Castro?:

        • Tony_Hall

          No, he did it to help save his job.

          • cubtex

            Save his job? How about to try and win! That is a concept that we haven’t seen in a couple of years.

          • Ripsnorter1

            “a concept we havent’ seen in a couple of years.”

            Yup.

          • Tony_Hall

            Yes in an attempt to win a few more games that year.

            Can we agree that Baez is better than Valbuena and that Bryant would be better than our 3rd OF?

            I would sure hope so.

            So should we bring both Baez and Bryant up to start the year, all in the name of trying to win more games, OR should we let them have more time in the minors.

            Yup, they should spend a little more time in the minors and both should be called up this year as they are both being fast tracked as long as they keep hitting like they have done.

          • cubtex

            so…..let me get this straight. Castro was brought up to win a few more games not to try and win the division. If Bryant is brought up from AA this year in July…what will that be for??? Maybe to sell a few more tickets?

          • Tony_Hall

            Sigh!

            Castro was brought up to try and win a few more games to try and win the division. Didn’t think I had to spell it out for you.

            But don’t you thiink that Castro would have been better off if he spent more time in the minors?

            And I wanted him called up, but that is the fan in me, just like I would love to see Baez and Bryant just play in the majors to start this year.

            If Bryant is called up in July it will be because he has dominated AA and they feel he is ready to come up to the majors.

        • paulcatanese

          No, at the time Castro was a no brainer to bring up, the best at his position for two years. If he hadn’t been brought up then, Hendry would have been crucified. That was a good gutty move by Hendry and Castro deserved the promotion.

          • cubtex

            exactly. It was to upgrade the position. He was ripping the cover off the ball in the minors,it was early in the season and they were trying to win. I wonder what will be said if Theo promotes Bryant this year???? It won’t be to try to win. It wil be to draw fans and pressure from Ricketts to get people in the stands.

      • cubtex

        Fans will flock to see Clark.

    • GaryLeeT

      Finances aside, it will be hard to convince quality players to come here. The FO can project their vision for the future, but players are not GM’s, and live in the here & now. That’s because they never know when there may be no tomorrow.

      • 07GreyDigger

        How will it be hard to convince quality players to come here? Chicago is the third largest city in America. It has world class everything and if you’re on the team that wins the WS, you’ll become a baseball legend.

        You’re right. No reason to sign here.

        • cubtex

          Unless the money is way more than other teams quality players want to be on a winner.

          • 07GreyDigger

            That’s a given. Money is always the determining factor.

          • cubtex

            It has to be way more….like the Cano situation. Cubs are not an easy sell at all. Why would a quality player sign with such a poor team. Even Shark wants out and is tired of this crap.

          • 07GreyDigger

            Cano signed for the money. Plain and simple. Maybe it was the coffee too?

          • Eugene Debs

            Like it was for Sanchez last winter?

        • Eugene Debs

          Let’s see: 100 losses, eroding fan base, horrible facility, too many day games, “itchy” front office that will trade you for an 8 yr old. Yeah, who wouldn’t want that?

        • GaryLeeT

          You’re right, no player has ever said that playing for a winning organization was a top priority for them.

  • Eugene Debs

    Signing both Baker & Maholm allows us to trade Shark and still have 5 – 6 starters to juggle.

    • CubbyDenCritic

      by the end of 2014 season, we might see at least 12 starters that was in our rotation…..
      Samardizja
      Jackson
      Wood
      Arietta
      Villanuava
      Grimm
      Hendricks
      Beeler
      Cabrera
      Rusin
      Vizcaino
      P Johnson
      Ramirez

      • Ripsnorter1

        And you even left off Baker and Maholm!

      • Eugene Debs

        Ugh on a few of those (Cabrera, Grimm, Villanueva, Rusin although he had some value last year). I don’t think we’ll ever get anything from Vizcaino.

  • CubbyDenCritic

    I have learned is once a free agent player’s name is mention in Cubs rumors ….he is not coming here.

    • mutantbeast

      If no one else wants to sign them they will. Id bet Baker or Maholm would come here before going to say, Texas. What pitcher wants to really pitch in that bandbox?

  • mutantbeast

    Maholm will be fine with a good infield defense, part of his problem in Atlanta was called Dan Uggla at 2nd and Simmons cant cover both halves of the infield. He did pretty well here before being traded.

    • Ripsnorter1

      Injured wrist, and then injured elbow.

      • paulcatanese

        Sounds like a natural for the Cubs.

  • kingdomusa

    Tanaka was a “SMOKE-SCREEN” to appease the fan base. Baez, Bryant, Almora, Soler & Edwards are all hostages under the Ricketts ownership. Theo had tons of money in Boston. that’s not the case here

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