UPDATE: Paul Maholm just indicated on his Twitter account that he has agreed to terms with the Cubs:
“Looking forward to seeing the fans at Cubs convention this weekend and getting to know all the guys. It’s gonna be fun.”
1:42 PM: Just days after trading Carlos Zambrano to the Marlins for Chris Volstad the Cubs are also “close” to adding Paul Maholm to the rotation, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com.
Maholm was first linked to the Cubs a month ago and has been a popular name to speculate about as teams try to fill out their rotations with low-cost veterans.
He never developed as hoped for the Pirates, who cut Maholm loose rather than exercise his $9.75 million option, but he’s still just 29 years old and has generally been a solid mid-rotation starter despite a sub par strikeout rate.
Maholm makes up for the lack of missed bats by inducing lots of ground balls, allowing just 18 homers per 200 innings during his career. Of course, Maholm hasn’t actually thrown 200 innings since 2008 and missed the end of last season with shoulder problems, but for a modest one-year deal he’d be a worthwhile pickup.
The Blue Jays announced on Friday that the club acquired outfielder Randal Grichuk from the Cardinals in exchange for pitcher Dominic Leone and minor league pitcher Conner Greene.
Grichuk, 26, became expendable when the Cardinals acquired Marcell Ozuna from the Marlins. With veteran Dexter Fowler in right field and Tommy Pham — who finished 11th in NL MVP Award balloting last season — in center, Grichuk was effectively pushed to the bench. He will get a shot at regular playing time in an outfield corner with the Jays. Grichuk has had solid numbers since debuting in 2014, but he hasn’t been able to recapture the magic of his 2015 campaign. Last year, he hit .238/.285/.473 with 22 home runs and 59 RBI in 442 plate appearances.
Grichuk will earn $2.8 million this season and will be eligible for arbitration for two more years before becoming a free agent.
Leone, 26, posted an impressive 2.56 ERA with an 81/23 K/BB ratio across 70 1/3 innings last season. The right-hander will earn $1.085 million this season and then will become arbitration-eligible for the next three years. Leone certainly helps bolster the Cardinals’ bullpen and may work his way up to high-leverage innings behind closer Luke Gregerson.
Greene, 22, was selected by the Blue Jays in the seventh round of the 2013 draft. This past season, with Double-A New Hampshire, Greene compiled a 5.29 ERA with a 92/83 K/BB ratio in 132 2/3 innings. He throws hard, but control has been a big issue for the right-hander throughout his minor league career. The Cardinals may think they can help turn him around.