Well the verdict is in and the Chicago Cubs missed out on Japan pitching sensation Masahiro Tanaka. You know what? That’s okay; they probably didn’t need him anyway and certainly didn’t need to tie up $155MM over the next several years to the guy. With that page in the MLB offseason finally turned, where will the Cubs go to fill a rotation spot void that they want to fill? Rumors suggest a few possibilities including former Cubs pitcher Paul Maholm.
Maholm is coming off of a few good seasons with the Atlanta Braves and most certainly will be a solid middle of the rotation guy somewhere. The Cubs would be a good fit both ways it would seem. He has played there before and seemed to like it well enough and the Cubs know him well and wouldn’t have to get accustomed to a new personality that the office staff didn’t know all about.
They know his abilities and limitations from the mound so would enjoy the good he was able to give them without being disappointed that he wasn’t a Cy-Young candidate more than likely. The best thing of course is that they would be able to get him signed for a fairly cheap price over a short-term deal as opposed to the giant big-money deal that Tanaka was demanding.
There are internal options for filling rotation spots but I would like to see Maholm return to a Cubs uniform for the 2014 season. The first part of 2012 with the Cubs included 20 of the best starts of the last several years for Maholm with an ERA in the low threes. He could potentially rack up somewhere between 180 and 190+ innings as well if not more. It would be a good move for both sides; make it happen Cubbies!