We all expected the Twins to sign a free-agent starting pitcher to a short contract. We all expected that, in order to keep costs down, said starting pitcher would likely be a guy who might not be one of the best pitchers on the market.
What we did not expect was that the Twins would offer a two-year contract, worth $10million, to a guy who appears to be a perfect substitute for Nick Blackburn.
Correia has pitched the past two years for the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Pirates are not known for their starting pitching, yet Correia was the team's fifth starter in both 2011 and 2012. When Pittsburgh got Wandy Rodriguez, it was Correia that they demoted to the bullpen.
And if it's strikeouts you're after, forget it. Correia struck out 4.68 hitters per nine innings last year, tied for third-worst among qualified pitchers (sadly, tied with Scott Diamond). He provoked the second-lowest percentage of swinging strikes in the majors. You and I could put the ball in play against Kevin Correia.
It's confusing why the Twins would waste two years and ten million dollars on this guy, given that they have terrible starting pitchers that can't miss bats in abundance. Heck, they have to pay Nick Blackburn $3.5million next year anyway - why not bringing him back and let him get shellacked every fifth day, instead of spending an extra $5million to let Correia get whacked? Frankly, the whole thing makes no sense. If they were so desperate to set $10million on fire, why not bring back Esmerling Vasquez and have a nice warming bonfire?
We look forward to the morning, when we will likely find out that Correia is an "innings eater" who "throws strikes," two things that are true but that are also true of the BP pitchers in the Home Run Derby, whose agents will presumably be calling the Twins.