Pirates finish contracts with Maholm, Hinske
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The Pirates this morning completed their three-year contract worth a guaranteed $14.5 million with top pitcher Paul Maholm after he passed his physical.
The contract covers all three of Maholm's arbitration-eligible seasons -- $3.5 million this season, $4.5 million next season, $5.75 million in 2011 -- and comes with a $9.75 million club option for 2012, which would have been Maholm's first year eligible for free agency. The buyout for that option is $750,000.
There will be a news conference this afternoon.
Maholm, 26, was the Pirates' first-round draft pick in 2003 and is fresh off his finest season in the majors, going 9-9 with a 3.71 ERA in 31 starts. His 3.11 ERA from May 31 until season's end was ninth lowest in the National League.
By reaching agreement, Maholm and the team avoided their arbitration hearing, which had been set for Feb. 10. The sides last week exchanged salary figures toward that hearing, Maholm filing for $3.8 million, the team $2.65 million.
Also today, the Pirates signed free-agent outfielder Eric Hinske to a one-year contract.
Hinske will make $1.5 million in base pay, plus as much as $1 million in performance-based bonuses.
Hinske, 31, is a .254 career hitter with 105 home runs over seven seasons with three American League teams. Last season, he batted .247 with 20 home runs and 60 RBIs in 381 at-bats for the league champion Tampa Bay Rays, with appearances in right and left field, as well as first and third base. His best season came as a rookie with the Toronto Blue Jays in 2002, when he batted .279 with 24 home runs and 84 RBIs.
First Published January 30, 2009 1:07 pm