Free agent starter Kevin Correia close to agreement on 2-year deal with #twins, says baseball source.— Jerry Crasnick (@jcrasnick) December 11, 2012
Correia's deal is for 2 years and $10 million. source says. #twins— Jerry Crasnick (@jcrasnick) December 11, 2012
Correia went 12-11 with a 4.21 ERA with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2012 and should give the Twins a back-of-the-rotation innings eater that they desperately need.
Correia's career numbers of 60-65 with a 4.54 ERA won't make Twins fans forget that they've sat on their hands in free agency so far, but with the price of starting pitching being top prospects and inflated contracts, the move makes sense.
Correia will slot in to the fourth or fifth spot and should provide what the Twins were hoping to get out of Nick Blackburn over the past couple seasons. If he's able to replicate his high ground-ball rate over his career in the American League, the Twins should take some pressure off their bullpen.
The move comes in a wild two weeks in which the Twins rotation has gone from the status quo to somewhat promising with the additions of prospects and legitimate starting pitchers.
On November 29, the Twins traded center fielder Denard Span for prospect Alex Meyer. While Meyer will not contribute to the Twins in 2012, he does have the chance to become a top-100 prospect heading into the season and is currently the best pitching prospect in the organization.
The Twins wound up shocking everyone on December 6 by trading Span's assumed replacement, Ben Revere, to the Philadelphia Phillies for pitchers Vance Worley and Trevor May.
May is similar to Meyer, but is coming off a 2012 season where he struggled at Double-A Reading with a 10-13 record and 4.87 ERA. Despite that, May has the ability to become a future No. 2 starter with a career 11.1 strikeouts per nine innings in the minor leagues.
The acquisition of Worley should provide immediate relief for the Twins, as he will slot into the middle of the rotation. Worley went 6-9 with a 4.20 ERA for the Phillies in 2012, but was also dealing with bone chips in his elbow. Worley should be healthy to begin the 2013 season.
With the additions of Correia and Worley, they Twins have added two pieces to add next to Scott Diamond in the Twins rotation. The Twins could also get help from the minor league level where Kyle Gibson and Liam Hendriks are expected to contribute as well as Cole De Vries and Samuel Deduno.
The Twins may not have the pieces to make a serious run in a weak American League Central Division in 2013, but the additions they've made so far are a nice start as the franchise tries to find its way back to relevance.