Paul Maholm Tweeted that he is looking forward to the Cu..."/> Paul Maholm Tweeted that he is looking forward to the Cu..."/>

Maholm In, Kerry Wood Out with Cubs?


Comcast SportsNet in Chicago relayed that free agent pitcher Paul Maholm Tweeted that he is looking forward to the Cubs Convention this coming weekend, as well as getting the chance to start knowing his new teammates. And with that it appears that Maholm has come to an agreement with the North Siders, just a few weeks after we first heard that Theo Epstein and Company had interest in the now ex Pirate lefty.

Details of the salary and years have yet to be released, but Maholm would join fellow new Cub Travis Wood as the options manager Dale Sveum could consider to provide a look from the left side in the starting rotation. Cubs fans should be familiar with Maholm since the pitcher has been with Pittsburgh since 2005.

With trade rumors involving ace Matt Garza still smoking on the hot stove, some in the media are taking this as a sign that the Cubs are closer to dealing Garza than the front office has let on. But it should be noted that Epstein and Jed Hoyer have been quoted as wanting to go six, seven, even eight deep in the starting rotation. The signing of Maholm would certainly be in line with that plan as well.

Meanwhile, the one move that all parties assumed was a given all off season long suddenly appears to be up in the air. Jordan discussed the latest on the Kerry Wood situation, but I am not as optimistic as he is regarding a Wood return. With the recent moves that have confirmed that the team is going with a youth movement, highlighted by the trade of one of the best lefty relievers in baseball in Sean Marshall, it would be hard to see the front office willing to spend more than the below market $1.5 million deal Wood signed last year. The veteran set up man is rumored to be seeking $4 million, and if he stand firm on that stance, he will definitely not be returning to the Cubs.

One reasons fans assumed Wood’s return was just a formality was because the “new Mr. Cub” has made it public in the past that he would retire if he could not pitch outside of Chicago. Apparently that is not the case anymore, with the Phillies among a select few teams interested.

I hope I am wrong, but Cubs fans, prepare your hearts to watch your 2012 Cubs without the fan favorite. Like Greg Maddux in his second coming with the North Siders, we may have to watch another pitcher leave for a second time. However, it should be noted that a mutually friendly parting should open the door for a third go around by Wood if the Cubs rebuilding plans are ahead of schedule in 2013. Wood would only be 35 years old going into that season, and he would be an excellent veteran bullpen addition to the young core the Cubs are figuring to build a perennial contender around.