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Kevin Correia: Throwing Good Money After Bad?

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Hey all,

Here’s what I don’t understand: let’s call it “throwing good money after bad.”

Blackburn’s $5.5 million contract is bad money. The Twins still had—had money in their purses after dropping about $26 million in 2012 contracts that went off the payrolls or were traded away (Pavano, Baker, Liriano, Span, Nishi, Casilla). Now, by signing Correia, that’s down to $21 million.

I expected to see a pitcher or two get Willingham money (3 years $21M), or Pavano money (3 years $23.5M) on a two year deal, or perhaps a three year deal, so $7-8M/year. This is where the market falls, excluding Greinke, at $23.5M/year over a six year contract. His contract is the anomaly:


The Market
Pitcher age IP ERA YRs $/yr
Peavy 31 219 3.37 2 14.5
Haren 32 176 4.33 1 13
Guthrie 33 181 4.76 3 8.3
McCarthy 29 111 3.24 2 7.75
Blanton 31 191 4.71 2 7.5
Iwamura 31 125 3.16 2 7


Correia (age 32, 171 ip, 4.21 era) for 2 yrs and $ 5M/yr

Available
Lohse 34 211 2.86
Jackson 29 189 4.03
Sanchez 28 195 3.86
Dempster 35 173 3.38
Marcum 30 124 3.70

I tried ranking the top twenty free agent starting pitchers who could hurl for the Twins for the next three years—with 2014 and 2015 being key contention years, they are all 35 or younger, with most being in that 29-31 range. Lots of room for debate here, but consider the money, and potential Willingham/Pavano size contract:

My Top 20

1. Greinke 23.5M/yr,6 yrs
2. Lohse
3. Peavy 14.5M/yr,2 yrs
4. E. Jackson
5. McCarthy 7.75M/yr,2 yrs
6. Sanchez
7. Dempster
8. Marcum
9. Haren 13.5M/yr,1 yr
10. Guthrie 8.5M/yr, 2 yrs
11. Blanton 7.5M/yr, 2 yrs
12. Iwamura 7M/yr, 2 yrs
13. Baker 5.5M/yr, 1 yr
14. Saunders
15. Villanueva
16. Liriano
17. De La Rosa 11M/yr, 1 yr.
18. Coreia 5M/yr, 2yrs
19. Sheets
20. Marquis

Bottom line, and this is about the bottom line: The Twins have room for one of the top five guys that are still on the market.
They need a pitcher who can win 15 games for a 81-81 w-l season, vs. 8 wins for 73 & 89. A little Oriole's-type luck to steal 9 more w's. They needed to spend $3-4M more to make that happen. Instead they threw the $5M away, like Blackburn's $. That's throwing away good money, after bad.
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  1. John Bonnes's Avatar
    I like that second list, that shows just how out of left field that amount of money is. (It would be even better if De La Rosa, who picked up his own option year, wasn't on the list.) The more one looks at this, the more it becomes so puzzling that it almost defies any kind of analysis. This does a nice job of objectively quantifying that.
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