Paul Maholm of the Pittsburgh Pirates pitches against the St Louis Cardinals at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
Having decided the bidding was too rich for top left-handed free agents Mark Buehrle and C.J. Wilson, the Cubs and agent Bo McKinnis have been negotiating the parameters of a deal that would bring left-handed starter Paul Maholm to Chicago next season, a major league source indicated.
Maholm's W/L record -- and we know those aren't really indicative of real value these days -- was pretty poor in 2011 at 6-14. But his other numbers were pretty good -- a 3.66 ERA and 1.29 WHIP. He's a sinkerballer who doesn't give up a lot of home runs, just 11 in 162 innings in 2011. His career ERA of 4.24 is nothing to write home about, but at age 29 -- 30 next June -- and being lefthanded, I would much rather see him at the back end of the Cubs' rotation than Rodrigo Lopez.
Good signing if it happens, depending on the price (Maholm made $6.25 million in 2011 -- hopefully, it'll be less). If the Cubs sign Prince Fielder, he'll have to take a different uniform number, too. Discuss.