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Cubs add to pitching depth with ex-Pirate Paul Maholm

Paul Maholm said he'll be Cubs Conventithis weekend.  |  Scott Stewart~Sun-Times

Paul Maholm said he'll be at the Cubs Convention this weekend. | Scott Stewart~Sun-Times

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Updated: February 11, 2012 8:22AM

In a move that gives them more flexibility to trade Matt Garza, the Cubs signed free-agent left-hander Paul Maholm to a deal that’s expected to be announced Tuesday.

Maholm announced his signing Monday night via Twitter from Chicago, where he plans to attend the Cubs Convention this weekend.

“I hope to get to continue some things when I visit [Pittsburgh] during the year and start some great things as I start my Cubs career,’’ Maholm, 29, wrote in a tweet directed at fans in Pittsburgh, where he has spent his entire seven-year ­career (53-73, 4.36 ERA).

In another tweet, he said, “Looking forward to seeing the fans at Cubs convention this weekend and getting to know all the guys. It’s gonna be fun.’’

A source confirmed the agreement. Terms were not ­immediately available.

It figures to be a convention of Cubs starting pitchers as much as anything this weekend, with Maholm joining a corps that now includes Garza, Ryan Dempster, Travis Wood, Chris Volstad and Randy Wells.

The Cubs anticipate bringing back Rodrigo Lopez, and Jeff Samardzija could be in line for a shot at starting.

The rebuilt depth puts the Cubs in stronger position to consider trading Garza, with the Detroit Tigers and New York Yankees among the possibilities.

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