When the Minnesota Twins signed right-hander Kevin Correia this off-season, I was the first person to state my displeasure about the signing. Last season, Correia was 12-11 with a 4.21 ERA in 28 starts over 171 innings and even made four relief appearances during the season. This off-season, Correia signed a two year, 10 million dollar contract and when I looked at those numbers, I believed they did not justify a 10 million dollar contract. If anything, they reminded me of the below-average pitchers the Twins were trotting out on a frequent basis last year.
At any rate, Correia has garnered a 8-9 record with 4.61 ERA over 140.2 innings this season in 24 starts. While Correia’s stats are all nearing career highs—some in a good way, but many in a bad way—one could argue that Correia has been one of the Twins’ most reliable starters during this frustrating season; however, just because he has been reliable, doesn’t mean he has been productive. For what the Twins are paying Correia to do, he is meeting expectations. The Twins signed Correia to eat up innings and be a veteran presence in the rotation who would take the ball every five days and battle. While Correia has met those expectations and has done what the Twins are paying him to do, that doesn’t mean that Correia is worth what he is being paid to do.
10 million dollars is simply a lot of money for an underachieving team to pay an average pitcher in baseball. Had the Twins been a contender and were looking for an innings eater in the back of their rotation, the Correia signing would have made a little more sense; but being a cellar dweller with plenty of young and inexpensive—yet also ineffective—starters in the minors doesn’t make the move look very stellar in my opinion. This season has reaffirmed Correia’s value to a franchise and what he is worth on the open market. In my opinion, two million dollars would be more fitting for someone of Correia’s skillset, not 10 million.
Correia is slated to be with the organization again next year and with no obvious replacements coming through the minors, the team will likely turn to him again to eat some innings in the middle of the rotation. It is possible that Correia gets moved into a long-reliever role at some point next season—if the Twins’ young starters make enough strides to make it to the majors—but evidence suggests that Correia will once again be entrenched in the Twins’ rotation all year long; so like it or not Twins’ fans, Correia is likely here to stay for at least another year.
The fact that Correia is one of a few locks in a horrendous rotation speaks volumes of the work that needs to be done on the Twins’ starting pitching. Hopefully that work that needs to be done gets accomplished this off-season and the Twins are able to replace Correia in the rotation in favor of a younger and more talented pitcher; that’s the goal, but I wouldn’t get your hopes up.