Well, so much for that. The Pirates are going to decline Maholm's team option for $9.75 million and the pitcher says he's going to "test free agency." I sincerely doubt he'll be back.
Maholm's not Sandy Koufax or anything, but unless Neal Huntington has some serious tricks up his sleeve, the 2012 Pirate rotation is going to be the biggest Disaster Area since Kakrafoon.
Well, we know what the answer to the Pirates' pitching problems (well, the ultimate answer to all problems, really) is, but MLB has retired it. Damn you yet again, Bud Selig.
How could Pittsburgh attract pitchers of the same quality as Maholm for half the price? Maholm will earn less than his option, but he'll have options on the market (and who knows, someone with advanced defensive metrics may like Maholm away from the Pirates infield). What other free agent starting pitchers exist that can duplicate Maholm's contributions for 4-5 mil? And remember - Correia for all his shiny wins was a gigantic bust last season.
@schuleg I think 'gigantic bust" is a bit harsh. I don't rmember anyone saying that Correia was going to come here and throw 225 innings with a 3.50 ERA or anything. He wasn't particularly good, obviously, but what he did was in line with his past history. You'd like more than a half a win above replacement for your four million, but I'd term that more mildly disappointing than a John Lackey-esque bust.