CUBS AGREED TO A ONE-YEAR CONTRACT WITH LEFT-HANDED PITCHER PAUL MAHOLM
Wed, 11 Jan 2012 11:22 AM EST
The Chicago Cubs have covenanted to a 1 year contract with left-handed pitcher Paul Maholm, the team to adverted Tuesday.
The offer is worth $4.25 million and includes a club option for $6.5 million, with a buyout of $500,000, resources said.
“There were other talks with other groups but they did not go real far,” Maholm said. “With the talks with (Cubs CEO) Jed Hoyer it wasn’t a clear-cut deal when we started, though it was something I wanted. After the new year I announced to my agent, that is the location and to get it done.”
Maholm made $6.25 million in 2011, the last year of the $13.75 million offer he signed with the Pirates before the 2009 season. He was the Pirates ‘ No. 1 draft pick in 2003 and was a mixed 53-73 with a 4.36 ERA in seven seasons in Pittsburgh.
“It was a pulled muscle,” Maholm recounted. “It wasn’t anything big. The timing of it when it occurred was the explanation I missed the end of the season. I just wanted to make sure that I was healthy and I failed to do anything more to my shoulder. I went to Doctor James, Andrews ‘ physical therapy fellows once every week and got some exercises. I rested, and I have now been working out and long-tossing. I should be beginning bullpens around next week.”
Although Maholm was 6-14 in 2011, he posted a respectable 3.66 ERA, the lowest of his career for a full season. Maholm is a sinkerball pitcher who has allowed less than one home run per nine innings pitched in his profession. He’s given up a median of 13 home runs per season over the past 3 years. Those numbers indicated to the Cubs ‘ front office that he can be a valuable arm in Wrigley Field, a ballpark that may be home-run friendly depending on climate time. Basketball odds
“Maholm is a ground ball pitcher and newly purchased pitcher Chris Volstad is a ground ball pitcher so that’s significant,” Hoyer said. “It’s necessary to have a mix on your team. You do not need a staff of all ground ball blokes or all fly ball guys. You would like to have very good variety.”
Maholm joins Matt Garza, Ryan Dempster, Travis Wood and Volstad in the rotation. Randy Wells and doubtless Jeff Samardzija will add some depth to the rotation that the Cubs lacked in 2011.
Hoyer expounded the addition of a 6 starter doesn’t necessarily suggest a rumored trade of Garza is on the horizon.
“As a rule of thumb, we aren’t going to explain on market discussions,” Hoyer asserted. “I would say with this Maholm agreement and the incontrovertible fact that we have six starters at the moment isn’t a precursor to anything. I am not going to comment on trade rumors, but it is very important to note that [signing Maholm] isn’t a precursor deal.”
The inclusion of Maholm gives the Cubs extra left-hander for the starting rotation. The Cubs, who purchased Wood from the Cincinnati Reds last month, have been looking for trusty beginning left-handed pitching since trading Ted Lilly to the Los Angeles Dodgers in July 2010.
“I think we are very pleased with the names we have,” Hoyer expounded of the Cubs ‘ rotation. “You never know what is going to occur during the winter and what is going to be obtainable to us. But what we said was that a huge concern was building depth. We would like to feel we have really done that.
“But the moment you feel you have ample pitching, you do not. We are OK with the depth we built up around the winter, but it’s a threatening thing to claim you are ever done.”
Maholm falls into the team of players that president of baseball operations Theo Epstein and Hoyer have identified who did not have robust seasons in 2011 and are projected to spring back.
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