The Pittsburgh Pirates have officially announced that they’ve declined the club options for Ronny Cedeno, Ryan Doumit, Chris Snyder, and Paul Maholm. We heard earlier that Maholm and Snyder would be officially declined. The only move that comes as a surprise is Cedeno, who had a $3 M option with a $200 K buyout, and played strong defense this year.
By declining the options, the Pirates enter the off-season looking for help at shortstop, catcher, and starting pitching. They can still re-sign any of the above players to fill those needs. I profiled the free agents for each position (shortstop, catcher, starting pitching). The Pirates can find cheaper alternatives on the open market, all while getting equal or greater performance. That said, there are no guarantees that the Pirates land any of the desired players on the open market. By declining the club options the Pirates have a chance to upgrade the team, but they turn down the convenience of filling all three positional needs before the off-season really begins.
The buyout prices were $750 K each for Maholm and Snyder, $500 K for Doumit, and $200 K for Cedeno. The 2012 40-man roster/payroll page is updated.