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Correia Signing is a Sad Thing

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Size:  17.0 KBTerry Ryan has seemed exasperated when discussing his efforts on the free agent market this offseason. In an interview on MLB Network shortly after the Ben Revere trade took place, the Twins' general manager reacted incredulously to Ken Rosenthal's suggestion that it might behoove him to get on his horse and sign a pitcher.

"We've tried," Ryan chuckled. "Sometimes you just can't give your money away."

Well, Terry, you have finally managed to accomplish that much.

The pitching-starved Twins finally made their first foray into the free agent market on Monday night, inking right-hander Kevin Correia to a two-year, $10 million deal.

Here's what we had to say about Correia in the Offseason Handbook:

Correia is a back-end starter in the low-strikeout, OK-control, pitch-to-contact mold. Even this year with the Pirates, a year in which he posted a 4.21 ERA, he was the guy bumped to the bullpen when they acquired Wandy Rodriguez at the deadline. But he’s relatively young, cheap and fairly durable. Unfortunately, he has also spent his entire eight-year MLB career in the National League. There is no guarantee the limited success he has experienced there would carry over to the AL (see: Marquis, Jason).
The final parenthetical sums it up nicely. We predicted he'd land a one-year, $2.5 million contract – similar to what Jason Marquis got last year – and that's probably around where the Twins started. But in this inflated market, there is apparently no such thing as a one-year deal. Not even for a 32-year-old who has only once topped 171 innings, has one of the worst strikeout rates in baseball, and hasn't posted an ERA+ above 100 since 2007.

Correia was a fourth-round pick out of college who reached the majors quickly and had some early success. But as he's aged, the quality of his stuff has diminished. When he was 26, he struck out 18.3 percent of the batters he faced. Last year, 12.2 percent. As the Handbook blurb mentions, he was bumped from the Pirates rotation midway through this past season.

And he gets $10 million.

This is depressing because it means one of two things. Either that Ryan actually believes a player with these attributes is worth jumping on when there are plenty of other names on the board, or that he is having so little luck attracting free agents of any caliber that he felt the need to lock up the first offer that someone – anyone – finally accepted. The GM may have feared that if he didn't act on an opportunity, he might be left with nothing.

Then again, nothing probably would have been preferable to Correia. He's been a bad pitcher in the National League over the past three years and he's aging into his mid-30s. It's not clear that he's a significantly better option than Liam Hendriks or Sam Deduno, particularly if you're building toward a future contender.

And he gets $10 million.

This is one of the most outrageous contracts in an offseason that's been full of them. It's too bad the Twins had to be the ones to sign it. They'd have been better off adding that $10 million on top of an offer to a pitcher who could actually make a difference.

Maybe not even that would be enough to entice a legitimate starter to join this club. If that's the case, then the 2013 Twins truly are hopeless.

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