The Pirates in 2011 improved from 105 losses to 90, certainly a significant step forward even though they remain a bad team.  With the playoffs still underway, however, they’ve made it clear that they intend to move quickly backward toward another 100-odd losses in 2012.  It’s long been known that they don’t intend to exercise catcher Ryan Doumit’s two-year, $15.5M option.  Team President Frank Coonelly has now added the news that the team is “unlikely” to exercise left-handed starter Paul Maholm’s $9.75M option for 2012, or to sign Maholm to a multi-year extension.

Make no mistake, these are significant downgrades.  Maholm has been an underappreciated pitcher for years, struggling along with a Keystone Kops defense behind him.  The absence of fielders who can catch the ball has left hi...

To continue reading the rest of this article, subscribe to Pirates Prospects. Subscribers get access to every article on the site, along with all of our exclusive live coverage of the Pirates' minor league system, all for a very low monthly or yearly rate.

If you're already a member, you can log in below. If you think you're receiving this message in error, please e-mail