The Pittsburgh Pirates have agreed to a two year deal with Kevin Correia for around $8 M, according to Jerry Crasnick. We heard earlier today that the Pirates were looking at Correia, among other pitchers. If you’ve read any of my previous write ups on Correia, you know that I’m a fan, and expected him to be available for around $5 M a season. Back in November I said that Correia could be one of the best values on the free agent market for starting pitchers, based on past performance.
Correia is a year removed from a strong season in the San Diego rotation, which saw him put up a 3.91 ERA in 198 innings, along with a 6.5 K/9, a 2.9 BB/9, and a 0.8 HR/9. He struggled in 2010, with a 5.40 ERA in 145 innings, along with increased walk and home run ratios. He managed a lot of ground balls (48.9%), and had a 4.19 xFIP, which was similar to his 2009 number (4.20).
Correia will definitely take a rotation spot, which fills one of the two available spots not taken up by James McDonald, Paul Maholm, and Ross Ohlendorf. If he can return to his 2009 numbers, it would be a very good move for the Pirates. One way they can help him out is upgrading the shortstop position, since his high ground ball rate wouldn’t do well with Ronny Cedeno at shortstop.