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January 2012

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Cubs Sign Paul Maholm

Written by , Posted in General

I had planned on running some baseball trivia today following the morning news, but things change. Jeremiah is MIA this morning and the Cubs made a move. As a result, here is the release on said move to add Paul Maholm.

CHICAGO – The Chicago Cubs and left-handed pitcher Paul Maholm have agreed to terms on a one-year contract with a club option for the 2013 campaign. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Maholm, 29, went 6-14 despite a 3.66 ERA (66 ER/162.1 IP) in 26 starts for Pittsburgh last year, as his run support average of 3.38 ranked fifth-lowest in the National League. He allowed three earned runs or less in 19 of his 26 starts and two earned runs or less in more than half of his starts (14 of 26) but earned the victory only six times despite a 1.44 ERA (15 ER/94.0 IP) in those 14 outings. Maholm posted a 2.96 ERA (40 ER/121.2 IP) in 19 starts before the All-Star Break before making only seven starts afterwards due to a left shoulder strain.

Selected by the Pirates in the first round of the 2003 Draft (eighth overall) out of Mississippi State University, Maholm is 53-73 with a 4.36 ERA (554 ER/1,143.2 IP) in 185 starts covering all or part of the last seven seasons with Pittsburgh (2005-11). He made 29 or more starts in five-consecutive campaigns from 2006-10 before making 26 starts last season.

Maholm reached the big leagues in 2005 in his third pro campaign and went 3-1 with a 2.18 (10 ER/41.1 IP) in six big league starts to close out the season. He made his first Opening Day roster in 2006 and began his string of five-straight seasons with at least eight wins and 176.0 innings pitched, including career-highs with 10 wins in 2007, 206.1 innings pitched in 2008 and 32 starts in 2010.

Starting with his first big league season in 2006, Maholm has averaged 4.25 runs of support per nine innings pitched, the fourth-lowest mark in all of baseball in that span. At the same time, the durable Maholm is one of only six major league southpaws to throw at least 1,100.0 innings the last six years.

Maholm is a native of Greenwood, MS and attended high school in Germantown, TN. He was named Pittsburgh’s 2005 Minor League Pitcher of the Year and was selected to that summer’s Futures Game before making his big league debut that August.

The Cubs will make a corresponding 40-man roster move before Maholm is officially added to the roster.

Let’s discuss. What does the rotation look like now as of opening day?

  • JCstats

    I guess it depends on whether or not the Garza to Detroit deal is done or not.

    Without Garza:

    Dempster
    Wood
    Volstad
    Wells
    Malholm

    With Garza:

    Garza
    Dempster
    Wood
    Volstad
    Wells

  • JCstats

    Either way….. it’s looking better than last year. But we still don’t really have a No. 1 guy. And if Garza is gone, we don’t really have a No.1 or No.2 guy.

  • chris in illinois

    Maholm gets my vote over Volstad easily…but I’m glad we have depth in any case…

  • Norm

    With Garza…I believe Travis Wood still has an option remaining, so he may very well be in AAA until a move is made or an injury occurs.

  • JCstats, Maholm is going to be a part of the rotation no matter what. We wouldn’t have signed him otherwise. If Garza is still hear, Volstad or Wood gets the bump

  • JCstats

    Do you think Maholm will be the number 2 guy with Garza gone?

    I know the other three have been inconsistent and are still young. But they have better stuff than Maholm IMO.

    Maholm can be an innings eater, which is good, but not the characteristic that should best describe your number two guy.

  • Jeremiah Johnson

    As we proved last season, you can never have too many starting pitchers. Opening the season with your sixth starter working out of the pen seems like a good plan, especially when your rotation is as shaky as ours looks to be.

    Still, I hope we keep Garza.

  • Kris

    If those are our rotation options, I kind of want to cry. I’m trying to be hopeful, but I might have more free time this summer.

  • Doug S.

    I wish I could “kind of want to cry”.
    I’m flat out bawling reading this post and responses.

  • Noah

    Who still has minor league options left of Wood, Volstad and Wells? My understanding is that it is Wood and Wells. Maybe it depends on what we see in spring training. Keith Law believes Wood could be a lot more effective if he essentially replaces his 4 seam fastball with a cutter. Maybe the Cubs put him down in the minors for a couple of months to work on that. Will Wells’ velocity be back up to 2009-2010 levels during the spring? Just lots of questions.

    I do think it’s interesting that the Cubs appear to be looking at offensively becoming much more left handed and on the pitching front moving to neutralize left handed hitters. Honestly, at this point I have a feeling the Cubs’ number 1 priority for next offseason will be signing Cole Hamels.

  • chris in illinois

    Everyone knows we’re not competing this year, right?

  • MJ

    I don’t think they do.

  • Seymour Butts

    Is Carlos Silva cheap this year?

  • Buddy

    I’m still waiting for somebody to say Maholm sucks because he won six games last year.

  • He sux b/c he only won 6 games last year. Not to mention his 7 season ave of 10-13 4.36 ERA with 229h in 212ip and a 1.42 WHIP…eesh.

  • Buddy

    There it is! You guys had me worried there for a minute.

  • Mark P.

    WAR isn’t the end-all be-all of statistics, but Maholm–a 2.1 WAR player (fangraphs) last year–essentially will replace the likes of Rodrigo Lopez (-0.3 WAR) and Casey Coleman (0.6 WAR) in our rotation. Granted, if we subtract Garza, we are even shakier, but even a meager addition like Maholm BOLSTERS our rotation. Is that a scary thought, or what?

  • Doc Raker

    I like the Maholm deal and I think Thed is asking to much to move Garza, at least during this offseason. Stockpile pitchers Thed, keep it up and delete Carlos Pena’s phone number from the Cubs rolodex.

  • Here I am, still using whiteout on my rolodex…didn’t even know that there was a delete function. Must be a hidden button on the spindle thing.
    _
    Maholm is Gorz v2.0…reliable southpaw who will show up and keep the game alive for seven. I like the move. I’ve been *sort of busy, but have been checking the banter on my phone (big thanks guys…honestly) and have to say that the last few moves have been crazy good. Bickering about 2012 aside, our franchise is unquestionably more healthy…time to give Jeo/Thed some applause.
    _
    Oh, and also…was I in a stupor or did I read that the lizzies are coming back? I haven’t seen any quadruple entendres from Butts, so half suspect I may have made that up in a stupor. If true…better than the Rizzo move.

  • Lizzie

    I’m not better than Rizzo. There’s a fair chance I can compete with Koyie Hill though, let’s go with that. 😉

  • Norm

    JSwanson, congrats on the baby, we just had a little girl three weeks ago ourselves…I know what you mean about being a little busy (more like tired, in my case though). Hope the little one is healthy and the wife isn’t too hormonal 🙂

  • Dusty Baylor

    Yay we signed Paul Maholm!!!
    Compare Stats to Similars
    1.Tomo Ohka (959)
    2.Chris Capuano (958)
    3.Zach Duke (956)
    4.Fausto Carmona (952)
    5.Jeremy Guthrie (950)
    6.Ted Gray (948)
    7.Tony Armas (948)
    8.Jim Beattie (948)
    9.Phil Ortega (948)
    10.Nate Robertson (947

    Wooooooo!!!!!

  • Doc Raker

    jswanson- Do both, delete all things digital and white out anything on paper with the name Carlos Pena on it.
    Congrats to Norm also- your first? My children are my greatest blessing- hug them everyday and make them watch the Cubs, they will need the hugs at that point.

  • MJ

    Doc, I think Hendry took the Rolodex with him. Theo and Jed are much to high tech for such things.

  • Kris

    Even if we don’t compete this year (which I realize isn’t likely, but I can hope for a team that isn’t abysmal), I’m already seeing a number of upsides:

    1) I don’t have to cringe everytime someone calls Zambrano our “Ace”.
    2) I won’t worry about other players or the Gatorade machine being beaten by aforementioned overrated and crazy pitcher.
    3) I don’t have to wonder when Ramirez will be out for 2-3 weeks and if it will only happen multiple times during the season. (Loved the guy, but it was time to move on.)
    4) Lizzies!
    5) I will not have to listen to Ozzie Guillen babbling on the Chicago news all spring, summer and fall!

  • gymjok

    If Garza stays- I see this starting staff as the type that keeps us in a lot of games.
    Now the offense scoring enough to win games-that’s another story.

  • Lizzie

    @norm Congratulations!! I remembered she was due to arrive around the same time as eswanson and wanted to ask but figured you’d share if/when you were ready. Glad you did! Wonderful news!

  • flyslinger2

    Woot on the babies! My first granddaughter is due at tax time. Can’t wait.