It was only a matter of time, right? Kevin Correia wasn't going to play a role in the future of the Minnesota Twins. Trevor May is up, but with Tommy Milone and Alex Meyer just waiting for an opportunity the front office needed to clear a spot...or two. That first spot went last night as Correia was traded to the Dodgers.
Correia delivered a better-than-expected performance in 2013, giving the Twins 185.1 innings of 4.19 ERA baseball. The peripherals, not surprisingly, implied that it wasn't a sustainable performance . His 4.94 ERA in 129.1 innings this season speaks to the volatility of dangerously low strikeout rates and mediocre stuff. In total, Correia made 54 starts for Minnesota these last two years, and the Twins have won just one third of those games.
The Dodgers are sending cash or a Player to be Named Later in return for Correia. But to be honest, the most valuable thing that the Twins could expect in return is his roster spot.
Tommy Milone has been recalled to take Correia's place in the rotation, and will start versus the Astros on Monday. Milone isn't a big strikeout guy either, but he's still struck out a higher percentage of opposing batters (17.2%) than Correia (14.6%). He also has very good command, walking just one of 20 hitters in his career. He's a fly ball pitcher, but as it has for other Twins pitchers this season, Target Field will mitigate the damage those tendencies can do.
Ricky Nolasco is due to return to Minnesota in the next few days, and of course Meyer is still toiling away in Triple-A. Yohan Pino is likely to lose his roster spot, but that still leaves the Twins with one additional starting pitcher and nowhere to put him. Once Pino is out, the rotation will be Hughes, Gibson, Nolasco, May, Milone. I don't think any of them lose their jobs, even for a guy as talented as Meyer.
Maybe the Twins end up using Meyer out of the bullpen just to give him some Major League experience down the stretch. Or perhaps they opt to roll with a six-man rotation for a couple of weeks until Meyer reaches his innings limit (currently sitting a 114 innings). We probably won't have to wait too long to find out.
With the departure of Correia, the Twins have one spot open on their 40-man roster.