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P Maholm believes Cubs are ready to win

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By The Associated Press
Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2012

Paul Maholm sees no reason the Chicago Cubs can't win, even though they haven't done much of that lately.

The Cubs agreed to a one-year contract that guarantees the left-hander $4.75 million and should add depth to their starting rotation. The deal announced Tuesday includes a $4.25 million salary for this year and $6.5 million club option for 2013 and $500,000 buyout.

"The guys that are there have the ability to win," Maholm said. "For whatever reason, it wasn't happening."

He says there's no clear-cut favorite in the NL Central and that the Cubs have a chance as long as "everybody just has their normal years."

The 29-year-old Maholm made 26 starts for the Pirates last season, going 6-14 despite a 3.66 ERA, before shutting it down because of a left shoulder strain. He was 53-73 over seven seasons with the Pirates.

Maholm said the shoulder shouldn't be an issue. He's been long tossing and plans to start bullpen sessions next week.

"It was a pulled muscle," Maholm said. "It wasn't anything huge. More or less the timing of when it happened is the reason I missed the end of the season. I just wanted to make sure that it was healthy and I didn't do anything further to my shoulder."

Selig to sign extension

Baseball owners said Commissioner Bud Selig will be offered a contract extension at this week's meetings in Phoenix. first reported that Selig will be offered an additional term when owners meet today and Thursday in Scottsdale, Ariz. Two owners, speaking on condition of anonymity so as not to attract criticism from Selig, told The Associated Press yesterday that a new term will be proposed.

Owners also intend to approve the completion of the sale of the San Diego Padres from John Moores to Jeff Moorad.

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