Paul Maholm has expressed his willingness to discuss an extension to remain in Pittsburgh and he noted that he would prefer to get a new contract done sooner rather than later. Pirates GM Neal Huntington, talking to MLB.com's Jenifer Langosch, didn't rule out the possibility of negotiations taking place before the trade deadline but also said that his club would rather wait until the offseason to talk contracts.
"We would very much prefer not to negotiate in-season, but it's not an absolute policy," Huntington said. "It's something that we'll look at on a case-by-case basis, but the strong preference is to do these things outside of the season."
How committed is Maholm to remaining a Pirate? Jennifer Langosch reports that
Maholm has no qualms with making his stance public. He wants the chance to see if his career with the Pirates -- a tenure that began when Pittsburgh used its first pick in the 2003 First-Year Player Draft to snag a 20-year-old left-hander out of Mississippi State's baseball program -- can last beyond even 2012.
"I'd really love to be here to see how it would be playing in October here," Maholm said. "I already know how the Penguins are treated here. I know how the Steelers are treated. It would be nice to be able to go through that.
"My wife and I, we enjoy it here. We've gotten to know a lot of people outside of baseball through a lot of different things we've done. It would be tough to break that all of a sudden."
If it were up to him, he'd negotiate right now. He is curious to know whether mutual ground could be found on an extension that would keep him in Pittsburgh, and he wants to know if he is in the organization's long-term plans.
And he would actually prefer that these conversations take place during the season.
Unfortunately for Paul Maholm, the Pirates are likely to trade him this summer. The team needs to get Brad Lincoln into the rotation, it needs to clear salary for the younger players who will soon command healthy arbitration awards and even long-term contracts and Maholm might become part of a trade package that brings the Pirates the kind of position player the team needs.