The Pittsburgh Pirates signed Kevin Correia to a multi-year deal. A mediocre pitcher got paid how much? Not so quick Bucco fans, look a bit deeper. Correia has had some nice seasons in the Giants bullpen dating back four years, he started off 2010 strong and the Bucs have turned the money that would have been spent on Zach Duke into Correia, Scott Olsen and likely a low level prospect from Arizona.
It doesn’t appear to be much on the surface, but three players for one player? Heh, maybe something will stick.
The deal reeks of the adage, the Pirates have to pay more to get talent. Bill James had his ERA pegged at 4.35 in PETCO Park, we can only imagine what that will bump to at PNC, but hell, it’s not our money.
Sure the Pirates defense must improve as Correia improved his ground ball rate last season to nearly fifty percent. But the Pirates have plenty of pitchers that have allowed a large number of ground balls, most being scorched. Correia also improved his swing and miss numbers, and he will likely contend as the Pirates leader in strikeouts in 2010.
The bottom line is this, Correia might not be as bad as you think. He has had a nice xFIP the past few seasons. Also, Corriea should be better than the option of Jeff Karstens or Brian Burres on the back end of a rotation too. Hell, the more we look at it right now, he is one of the better starter options for Clint Hurdle considering that Paul Maholm was bad, and Ross Ohlendorf was unhealthy last year.
Yeh, it’s sad, but just look at the numbers closely. James McDonald and Kevin Correia might be the closest pitchers the Pirates have to a sure thing right now. And remember we had some concerns surrounding McDonald’s health last season in the article below, I trust that we were just seeing things, but an injury to anyone on the Pirates staff, especially McDonald, would be a big blow.
But surely Kevin Correia isn’t the end of the spending on pitchers right? Tell me it’s not so.