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Maholm signs; Padilla off radar?

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I got a text message late last night from free-agent lefty Paul Maholm, who confirmed that he’s about to sign with the Cubs: “I passed my physical today (Monday). They r announcing it (Tuesday).” Maholm was the best ground-ball pitcher still on the market, which could make him a good fit for Wrigley Field’s cozy dimensions. The Pirates’ first-round pick in 2003, Maholm is 6-2 with a 5.48 ERA and a 1.344 WHIP in 11 career starts at Wrigley.

Also last night, a well-placed Pirates source told me a report that the team is going to scout free-agent pitcher Vicente Padilla next week in Nicaragua is “not accurate.”

I’m flying today to Bradenton, Fla., and will report tonight and tomorrow from the Bucs’ unofficial minicamp at Pirate City. Check here and on my Twitter feed for updates.

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