News came out today that the Pirates are shopping Kevin Correia. This isn’t a surprise to me, in fact it should be basically a no-brainer.
I’ve been saying for awhile now that the Pirates would be a better team if they replaced Correia with Rudy Owens or Jeff Locke. It would be hard for me to believe that Neal Huntington and company don’t agree with me, but it’s never as simple as that.
Correia is a free agent at the end of the year and the Pirates have no reason to bring him back for next year with all the depth they have. Because of that, they should absolutely try to trade him and get something for him instead of losing him for nothing. Sure, they aren’t going to get much in return, it might just be a deal for cash and a crappy prospect, but even that’s better than nothing.
You can’t say for sure that this team will get better by replacing Correia with one of those two pitchers, but it’s certainly a pretty good bet. Locke, Owens, and even Justin Wilson have been dominating in AAA all year long and look like they could help at the big league level.
When the Pirates do trade Kevin Correia, they won’t be making the team better by what they bring back for him, it’s simple addition by subtraction. The Pirates simply can’t bench a guy they are trying to trade, it doesn’t work like that. If they want to get something for him, they have to keep him in the rotation and let him pitch until they can make a deal. After Correia is gone and the Pirates have something in return for him, they can bring up one of those starters and see what they have.
If the Pirates weren’t planning on trading Correia, they probably would have taken him out of the rotation awhile ago. However, they realize that it’s important for small market teams to get something for their players when they leave, and rolling Kevin out there every five games was the only way to make sure they could do that.
Again, the Pirates aren’t going to get much for Correia and they should probably just jump on the first decent deal that they’re offered. The sooner he’s out of the rotation the better. This team is extremely competitive right now and this season could come down to a couple games that decide if they’ll make the playoffs or not, so you have to play to win right now. Trade Correia as soon as possible and then replace him with either Locke, Owens, or Wilson.