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Pirates' Paul Maholm Wants To Stay In 2012

The Trib reports that Pirates pitcher Paul Maholm, who has a $9.75 million team option for 2011 with a $750,000 buyout, wants to remain with the Bucs next year.

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"Now that we've gone through the rough times and it's starting to get good, it'd be tough to not be here whenever it turns over," he said.

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As I wrote last week, it might be tough for the Pirates to figure out what to do at the trading deadline, and Maholm is part of that. The $9.75 million in 2012 is probably more than the Pirates would like to pay, but it's not prohibitively expensive either. The Bucs could trade Maholm for prospects in July, but his current pitching might be worth more to the Pirates than the B-grade youngsters they're likely to receive in return. At the same time, it would be very strange if they kept him until the end of the year and then simply dropped him, particularly if they're not going to receive free agent compensation in return.

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In past years, this would have been an easy decision - the Pirates would have traded Maholm and moved on. But now that they've suddenly got a competent team, things have gotten tricky.

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.