Kevin Correia and the 2013 Minnesota Twins

According to Jerry Crasnick, the Twins have signed Kevin Correia to a two-year, $10 million dollar contract.  The savvy Twins fan might liken this deal to the Jason Marquis signing from a year ago, but with an extra year tacked on, just for fun!  Correia has been a below average starter in the National League over the past two years for the Pittsburgh Pirates.  In 2012 the Pirates (not known for the pitching depth) decided that they had better starting options and demoted Correia to the bullpen.  On a one-year deal, signing Correia would not seem half as bad, as the Twins are likely in the midst of a serious rebuilding effort after trading Denard Span and Ben Revere over the past couple of weeks.  The second year of the deal could be tricky as Correia is not likely to improve coming to the American League for the first time in his career where he’ll have to face the designated hitters instead of pitchers.

Twins #3 Starter, Kevin Corriea, Source: Jared Wickerham/Getty Images North America

 

Correia joins the Twins and is instantly their third best starting pitching option in 2013 behind Scott Diamond and Vance Worley.  That’s how bad the Twins pitching is right now, they are turning to the Pirates’ bullpen for starting pitching help.  While the Correia signing gives the Twins a much needed are in 2013, his role in 2014 is less clear.  With Kyle Gibson another year removed from Tommy John surgery, and Liam Hendriks with some additional Major League experience (and perhaps some confidence boosting time at Triple-A), Correia’s best option for 2013 is as the Twins fifth starter.  But five million dollars for a fifth starter, when guys like Cole De Vries, B.J. Hermsen, Sam Deduno and Esmerling Vasquez are all equally qualified to fill that spot, is harder to stomach.

If you’re a glass half-full type of person, it is possible that the Twins could flip Correia in 2014, maybe even eating some of his salary, in hopes of bringing back a low-level prospect.  But it seems more likely to me that he ends up in the bullpen filling the long relief role that Anthony Swarzak currently fills, or becomes the swing-man that Brian Duensing has occupied the past couple of years.  All in all, Correia is a Major League veteran that fills a roster spot for 2013, just keep your fingers crossed that he does not turn into another Nick Blackburn.

-ERolfPleiss

3 thoughts on “Kevin Correia and the 2013 Minnesota Twins

  1. It’s possible that he’s just a cheaper Jeremy Guthrie. No, I’m not excited about it, either, but I expected TR to sign a couple guys like this. It’s just weird that he gave Correia 2 years. Usually, the Twins like to save these kinds of baffling deals for scrappy utility infielders.

  2. I don’t know if I’d compare him to Guthrie. Guthrie has had success in the AL previously and might have some upside. Correia is a guy that hasn’t been good since he left San Diego, has never pitched only in the NL, and has never hit 200 innings pitched (though he’s been close).
    Like you, I expected Terry Ryan to sign at least one guy like this, but if he’s done acquiring talent for the winter, I’ll be awfully disappointed with 2013, despite the upgrades Ryan made to future teams.

  3. The big concern about Correia is that his K/9 has dropped the last couple seasons, but he’s compensated with an increased groundball rate (51.2% this year) and his xFIP in Pittsburgh was actually a bit lower than his 4.44 career mark. Comparing his career xFIP, or his marks in Pittsburgh, to Guthrie’s career 4.63 xFIP, I think there’s a good chance that they have similar results next year. Hopefully, the benefits of Target Field and the AL Central schedule particularly help Correia, and we have a back-end starter posting a 4.50 ERA for $5M–which would be an improvement on what the Twins have been getting from a lot of starters lately.