Dejan Kovacevic is reporting that the Los Angeles Dodgers are interested in Pittsburgh Pirates left handed pitcher Paul Maholm. The Dodgers are looking for starters, and apparently have their eye on other players, with Roy Oswalt and Ted Lilly being mentioned by DK.
Maholm currently has a 4.03 ERA in 114 innings, with a 4.5 K/9 and a 3.2 BB/9. His strikeout ratio has dropped the last few years, going from 6.1 K/9 in 2008 to 5.5 in 2009 to 4.5 this year. Maholm is under team control through the 2012 season, with a $5.75 M contract in 2011, and a $9.75 M club option in 2012, which features a $750,000 buyout.
Maholm could fetch an attractive return. He’s left handed, an innings eater, and under control for two and a half years at a very reasonable price. He also just turned 28 years old at the end of June. I wouldn’t be opposed to dealing Maholm, depending on the return. He’s not looking like the top of the rotation pitcher we envisioned after the 2008 season, but he’s definitely a valuable guy. Ideally I’d like to see the Pirates deal Zach Duke, but Duke has very little value right now.
The Dodgers have some financial constraints, so maybe the Pirates could increase the return by picking up some of the money owed to Maholm. We’ve seen several instances this year of teams giving up more in exchange for financial relief, including the deal that sent Justin Smoak and prospects to Seattle for Cliff Lee.
Maholm is owed just under $8.4 M guaranteed through the 2011 season. Ted Lilly is owed almost $5 M for the remainder of the season, while Roy Oswalt is owed over $22 M through the 2011 season, as well as an option in 2013. Maholm definitely would be a cheap option to begin with, which explains the Dodgers’ interest.