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MLB Winter Meetings: Pirates, Kevin Correia Near Deal

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ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick reports that former Padres pitcher Kevin Correia will be a Pirate next year.

Pitcher Kevin Correia has reached agreement with Pittsburgh Pirates on a 2-year, $8 million deal, pending a physical, source saysless than a minute ago via web

 

Correia will enter his age 30 season in 2011 after posting a record of 10-10 with a 5.40 ERA and 115 strikeouts in 26 starts with San Diego in 2010, a step back from a solid 2009 season in which he went 12-11 with a 3.91 ERA and 142 strikeouts in 33 starts for the Padres.

The former Friar's biggest trouble last season was control, as his WHIP jumped from 1.30 in 2009 to 1.49 in 2010 and his BB/9 from 2.9 to 4.0. He has proven effective in getting strikeouts, however. His K/9 average in 2010 was 7.1, above his career average of 6.6.

As a Type B free agent, the Padres will receive a supplementary first round pick in this year's draft when the deal with the Pirates is complete. (The Pirates will not lose any picks.)

Correia will likely eat a lot of innings for Pittsburgh this season and bring a punch-out capability the rotation lacks beyond James McDonald. That said, if he struggles like he did last season, he won't be worth near the money the Pirates plan on paying him.

Unlike the addition of Scott Olsen earlier in the day on Monday for close to a $1 million for next season, Correia represents legitimate investment at $4 million per season for the next two years. The dollars per year will probably end up below the going rate for the average free agent starter this winter. The additional year is interesting, however, for a pitcher without a whole lot of upside at what will be age 31. Perhaps GM Neal Huntington is hoping a quick start for Correia in 2011 will make his contract attractive in trade talks come July if the Pirates are out of the race.

That's a discussion for down the road, though. Right now, it appears Huntington will leave Florida with a pair of starters in the fold at the very least, and he can now turn his attention toward improving the defense in Day Two of the meetings Tuesday.

Stay tuned to SB Nation Pittsburgh for any updates on the Correia signing or any other moves the Pirates might make in Orlando.

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.