Hot Stove Talk: Paul Maholm

Note: This is part of a series looking at some external and internal possibilities for the starting pitching rotation to replace Derek Holland, as the lefty is expected to miss the first half of the season.

Today's pitcher: Paul Maholm

ESPN.com's Jim Bowden tweeted Wednesday that Maholm, who was on Bowden's radio show, said the Rangers have checked in on him.

Maholm, 31, is coming off a season in which he pitched 153 innings (26 starts) for the Atlanta Braves, who acquired him at the trade deadline from the Chicago Cubs in 2012.

The left-handed pitcher had a 4.41 ERA last season with 105 strikeouts and 47 walks. Opponents hit a whopping .280 against him, the seventh-worst figure among National League starting pitchers last year (Barry Zito had the highest opponent batting average at .317). He did hold left-handed batters to .226 average.

Last year was a rare season in which Maholm didn't pitch at least 175 innings. He's done that in six of his eight full seasons, including 2012, when he was 13-11 with a 3.67 ERA for both the Cubs and Braves.

Maholm is likely looking to re-establish his value, which makes signing him attractive for the Rangers in that he could compete for a rotation spot and likely do so on a short-term contract loaded with incentives.