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MLB Trade Rumors: Padres Sniffing Around Pirates' Paul Maholm

What does a low-key team try to do around deadline time? Why, make a low-key move, of course. Enter the San Diego Padres:

The San Diego Padres and Pirates are not close to a trade involving Paul Maholm, according to a high-ranking team official here at Busch Stadium, but there are ongoing discussions in multiple directions.
Of the Padres, the official described them as "just fishing."

Maholm's exactly the sort of B- or C-level player you'd expect a team like the Padres to target. The groundballing lefty has seen his numbers trend in the wrong direction, but he's under contract for a reasonable price through next season with a 2012 option, and he'd serve as rotation depth and an effective lefty killer. For his career, Maholm has allowed just a .573 OPS against left-handed batters, and an .816 OPS against righties.

With that said, while Maholm has his uses, he's not really the kind of player for whom a front office should splurge. The Pirates can ask for a starting pitcher in return all they want, but they're unlikely to be offered a very good one. If the Pirates continue to ask as much as they are for Maholm, the Padres will probably look elsewhere, and perhaps place another call about Jake Westbrook.