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The Cubs are in talks with left-hander Paul Maholm

Paul Maholm

Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Paul Maholm throws against the St. Louis Cardinals in the third inning of the baseball game on Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2011 in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

AP

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.