The Sudden Rise Of Pirates Kevin Correia


The Pittsburgh Pirates opening day starter

looks pretty good huh?  Kevin Correia is rolling.  What a steal for the Pittsburgh Pirates.

A few months ago, people were compiling articles blasting the signing, questioning his fly ball ratio, and well, you know…the typical reaction to an offseason move by the Pirates.  It’s hard to knock anyone for their reaction given the Pirates recent track record with free agents.

We guess our point is few even gave the 6’3″ righty a chance.  Baseball Prospectus wrote a somewhat favorable outlook for him in the 2011guide, but ended it with a snark: “Correia’s new deal demands that he brave Pittsburgh for two years regardless.”

But taking another look now, it seems to me that some of Bob Nutting’s money that would have been spent on Zach Duke was invested in Correia.  What a deal.  Hell what a steal when one considers what a win is worth in the game of baseball.

The Pirates were able to get Correia signed to a really nice deal for 2011.  From what we  dug up on Cot’s  Correia won’t be paid many incentives for his performance this season. 

2012 will be a different deal for the right hander who currently leads Major League baseball in wins.   Correia is just one win off his career high in road wins. Pinch yourself.  It’s June 1.  Imagining how the season could finish for Correia….well it’s hard not to dream about it.

Correia will get paid incentives for 2012 which would kick in $100,000 to the Correia checking account for 170 innings, and it grows by $100K for every ten innings over 170 up to 210 innings.  In other words, he could make half a mill if he pitched 210 innings.   He can also earn $125,000 each for 26 games started, 28, 30, and 32.  Another half a mill for 32 starts in 2012, hence a million if he could pitch 210 innings and make 32 starts. 

Won’t that be nice?  Correia would be a little old for the Bucs after 2012 and if this keeps swimming along, he would have served as a nice bridge to some of the Pirates young pitching talent.  We couldn’t imagine Correia wanting to spend much more time away from the perfection of SoCal, but it would be a decision that would be fun to debate when and if the time comes.

Correia does have awards incentives for both 2011 and 2012.  He will receive $100K for The Cy Young and $75K for runner-up or $50K for third.  These were thought to be laughable just a few months ago.

Correia’s agent and surfing buddy since his teens, Chris Springfield, knew something we didn’t.

But damn, why hasn’t a compensated writer in Pittsburgh running a feature on Springfield and Correia by now?   It has all the makings of a great story.  Correia is a soft spoken player, it might take some work, but his fine work on the mound this season has certainly earned it.

The most awesome incentive Correia negotiated was getting $50K for being World Series MVP, $25K for a Gold Glove, and $25K for making the All-Star team.

We trust Correia pulls in all $100K.  Surf wax can get pricey.

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