Update: Sources close to the negotiations have confirmed to me that the Cubs have serious interest in Paul Maholm, but no deal appears to be imminent.
After hiring Theo Epstein and Company to start a major overhaul of the club, the Cubs have been relatively quiet this offseason adding David DeJesus and Ian Stewart but doing nothing so far to strengthen a woefully inadequate starting rotation. That however, may be about to change as Epstein and GM Jed Hoyer are negotiating to sign former Pittsburgh Pirates left-hander Maholm who went 6-14 in 2011, but had a very solid 3.66 ERA and a 1.29 WHIP. According to two major league sources, a deal is not yet done but the Cubs have shown considerable interest in the 29 year old and a deal is definitely possible.
Maholm looks to be a very good fit at Wrigley Field because of his ability to keep the ball down and his propensity for keeping the ball in the park. His home runs allowed total is outstanding and is among the top 20 pitchers in the National League. One stat that jumped off of the page for me was the run support that Maholm received in 2011 which was the third worst in the National League. The Cubs are facing some competition to land the starter because while he is a below .500 pitcher for his career, he allowed just 2.8 BB9IP in 2011 and he is considered a very solid clubhouse guy as well. He was a first round pick of the Pirates (8th overall) in the 2003 MLB First Year Player Draft.
The Cubs had also put out a substantial offer for Japanese pitcher Yu Darvish, but the New York Post is indicating the Toronto Blue Jays appear to have submitted the highest bid.