The Cubs have reportedly made a bid for Japanese right-hander Yu Darvish, but they have also set their sights on some lesser-heralded names for their starting rotation.
According to Bruce Levine of ESPNChicago.com, the club is currently in talks with free agent left-hander Paul Maholm.
Maholm, 29, became a free agent after the Pirates declined his $9.75 million option for 2012 at the end of October. He posted a solid 3.66 ERA and 97/50 K/BB ratio over 162 2/3 innings this season, but didn’t throw another pitch after being placed on the disabled list in late-August with a shoulder strain.
Maholm went 53-73 during his seven seasons in Pittsburgh, but he fits the mold of a perfectly respectable back-end starter. The southpaw has a career ground ball rate of 52.3 percent, which may or may not have much an impact depending on the quality of the defense behind him, but he at least stands a chance to survive in a hitter-friendly ballpark like Wrigley Field.