As per Bruce Levine of ESPN Chicago (via MLB Trade Rumors), the Pirates and Royals are both interested in Paul Maholm of the Chicago Cubs. The left-handed Maholm needs no introduction as he pitched in Pittsburgh from 2005-2011 with moderate success. In 2012, the 30-year-old Maholm has a triple slash line of 4.09 ERA/4.22 FIP/4.25 xFIP, as stable a line as you are likely to see. He has 1.2 WAR to date and is on track for his typical 2 WAR season.
Maholm is owed just under $2M for the remainder of the season and has a club option in 2013 for $6.5M. His remaining salary and his modest production would only preclude the trade of a C-grade pitching prospect, unless the Cubs were to eat his salary to upgrade the offer.
Coupled with the news that the Pirates also inquired about Jon Lester and Jason Vargas, both LHP’s themselves, it certainly seems as if Erik Bedard’s spot in the one they are looking to upgrade. With the Pirates heavily scouting the Diamondbacks (Justin Upton, Stephen Drew), it would not be surprising if Joe Saunders is also on their radar.