Pirates Haven’t Ruled Out Exercising Maholm’s Option

5:33PM: Pirates GM Neal Huntington still has not entirely ruled out exercising Maholm's option, writes MLB.com's Jenifer Langosch.  The Bucs do not plan on paying Paul Maholm $9.75MM in 2012, but keeping the option in play leaves the door open to using the pitcher in a trade.

There is a limited window on the matter as teams typically have until five days after the conclusion of the World Series to officially decline or exercise club options.

3:05PM: The Pirates have decided to decline their 2012 option for Paul Maholm, according to Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. The 29-year-old left-hander would have cost $9.75MM in 2012, but Pittsburgh will opt for a $750K buyout instead.

Maholm told Biertempfel that he isn't discussing a deal with the Pirates now, but hasn't ruled anything out. The seven-year veteran says he wants to "see what's out there" in free agency and adds that he'll do what's best for his family.

Maholm posted a 3.66 ERA with 5.4 K/9 and 2.8 BB/9 in 162 2/3 innings in 2011. His numbers improved, but he missed the final six weeks of the season with a strained left shoulder. Draft pick compensation won't be an issue, since Maholm is an unranked free agent, according to our rankings.

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