The Pirates officially signed Kevin Correia to a two-year, $8MM deal. He can earn another $1MM in performance bonuses; Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has the contract breakdown. The team announced the deal, with this quote from GM Neal Huntington:
"Kevin Correia is a solid major league starting pitcher and a strong addition to our rotation. We feel he is poised for a return to his 2009 form where he gave his club a chance to win nearly every start while carrying a significant innings pitched workload."
Aside from Yoslan Herrera, it has been 12 years since the Pirates last gave a free agent pitcher a multiyear deal - Cam Bonifay signed Pete Schourek to a two-year, $4MM deal in '98. Back on November 10th, two MLBTR writers predicted Correia would sign with the Pirates.
Correia posted a 5.40 ERA with 7.1 K/9 and 4.0 BB/9 in 145 innings for the Padres in 2010. The 30-year-old missed time in May after his younger brother died in a tragic accident. He lost his rotation spot to Tim Stauffer after a trio of poor starts in late August. Agents Scott Leventhal and Damon Lapa did much better than I expected them to when I looked ahead to Correia's free agency this fall.
Correia’s walk rate jumped from 2.9 BB/9 to 4.0 BB/9 in 2010, but some of his stats reflect more favorably on his performance. Despite the righty's 5.40 ERA, defense-independent pitching stats suggest he was unlucky. Nearly 15% of fly balls hit off of Correia left the yard, so homers inflated his ERA. He induces ground balls and is just one year removed from a season in which he posted a 3.91 ERA in 33 starts, which likely contributed to GM Neal Huntington's willingness to make an $8MM guarantee.
The Padres offered Correia arbitration, so they'll obtain a supplementary first round pick in the 2011 draft for losing the Type B free agent.