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.
Rockies reliever Seunghwan Oh recently said to the Yonhap News Agency that he wanted to return to South Korea to finish out his career. He has one year and $2.5 million remaining. His 2019 club option became guaranteed when he reached 70 appearances in the 2018 regular season. It sounded like Oh didn’t want to pitch for the Rockies next season. Oh said, “I am a bit exhausted after spending five seasons in Japan and the United States. I feel like I want to return to the KBO while I still have the energy to help the team and pitch in front of home fans. I can’t make this decision alone. I’ll have to speak with my agency about the next season.”
Rockies GM Jeff Bridich has a different sense of the situation, per Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post. Bridich said, “From what we have been told, it was much ado about nothing regarding Oh. His comments to the Korean media were not specifically about 2019. It was more about ending his career there. Our understanding is that he has every intention of honoring his current contract.”
Oh, 36, pitched 68 1/3 innings this past season between the Blue Jays (47 innings) and Rockies (21 1/3). In aggregate, he posted a 2.63 ERA with a 79/17 K/BB ratio in 68 1/3 innings. The Rockies have the bulk of their bullpen returning next year, save for Adam Ottavino who is a free agent.