Maholm open to contract extension; no movement from Bucs

Paul Maholm’s stance of welcoming in-season contract negotiations has not changed. But to this point, such interest has still not been reciprocated by the Pirates.

Maholm is in the final guaranteed season of a long-term deal he signed before the 2009 season. While Maholm has a club option of $9.75 million attached to that contract, he has publically said that he would like the opportunity to see if he could agree to a contract that would keep him in Pittsburgh even past the 2012 season.

The Pirates do not have a firm policy about avoiding contract negotiations during the season, though it is not general manager Neal Huntington’s preference.

Given Maholm’s contract status, there remains the possibility that the Pirates could be willing to deal Maholm before the July 31 Trade Deadline if the club can net something significant in return. While the starting rotation would take a hit if it were to lose the left-hander, the Pirates might have to part with big-league talent if they want to land an impact player. It could also be advantageous to see how coveted Maholm is now if the Pirates have already determined that he is not a part of the organization’s future after this season.

Maholm will take a 6-9 record and 3.06 ERA into his start on Friday.

— Jenifer Langosch

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