MLB Trade Rumors: Could Pirates Deal Paul Maholm?

For whatever it's worth, John Perrotto of the Beaver County Times guesses that Pirates starting pitcher Paul Maholm could be gone shortly:

Pirates club president Frank Coonelly, though, has made it clear that the Pirates want to avoid giving big-money contracts to pitchers. Thus, the semi-educated guess here is the Pirates will either trade Maholm this month or allow him to walk at the end of the season.

It's obviously possible that the Pirates will trade Maholm before the deadline, and I think they'll surely be open to offers, but I don't think it's likely they'll trade him. For one thing, they're still in contention, and they'd probably prefer to keep him for that reason, even if the Bucs' chances of winning the division are remote. And secondly, and more importantly, Maholm just isn't likely to bring back that much, and the sorts of non-elite prospects the Pirates are likely to get in return for him just don't have a lot of value to the organization right now – they have plenty of non-elite prospects, and few elite ones. The Bucs also have the option of keeping Maholm next year, although the expense ($9 million) will be such that at the very least, they won't be thrilled about it.

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