Seattle Mariners Ink Kevin Correia to Minor League Deal


The Seattle Mariners added to their pitching depth on the Monday by signing 34-year-old right hander Kevin Correia to a minor league deal with an invitation to spring training. Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times broke the news on Monday morning via twitter. The Mariners will be the sixth organization Correia has played for during his 12-year career.

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Kevin Correia had the worst season of his career in 2014 as a member of the Minnesota Twins and Los Angeles Dodgers. Correia went 7-17 and registered a 5.44 ERA across 154.0 innings last season. The Cal POLY alum has never been known as a strikeout pitcher, but last season he recorded just 4.6 strikeouts per 9 innings. The long ball burned Correia last season, as he allowed 1.2 home runs per 9 innings. He also allowed a whopping 1.5 walks/hits per inning. These stats are nauseating, but Correia’s 4.67 FIP suggests he did not pitch quite as awful as these numbers indicate.

The Mariners likely took a flier on Kevin Correia because of his track record as a serviceable big league starting pitcher. The La Mesa, CA product represented the Pittsburgh Pirates at the 2011 All Star game after going 12-11 with a 4.79 ERA. While his numbers have never been earthshattering, Correia has been a consistent pitcher during his 12-year big league career. He has gone 62-73, and posted an ERA of 4.59 since 2009. The 34-year-old right-hander has pitched at least 154 innings in each of the last four seasons.

Chris Young had similar numbers during his career prior to joining the Mariners last season. Young was a revelation for the M’s in 2014, and played a big part in their success last season. Young is a notorious fly ball pitcher, and thus fit perfectly at the pitcher friendly Safeco Field. However, Correia is a ground ball pitcher, and I do not anticipate him resurrecting his career in a Mariners’ uniform.

Kevin Correia appears to be under the impression that he will given a chance to compete with Taijuan Walker, Roenis Elias, and Erasmo Ramirez for the final spot in the Mariners starting rotation. I have serious doubts about this. Walker has been incredible thus far in spring training, and the M’s would love to have him pitching out of the five spot in their rotation this season. Elias saw extended time in Seattle in 2014, going 10-12 and posting a 3.85 ERA. Elias had command issues, but pitched well in his spring debut last week. Ramirez has not faired well with the Mariners, but he still possesses more upside than Correia.

Kevin Correia will get a chance to strut his stuff this March with the Mariners, but it is highly unlikely he will head north to Seattle with the M’s when they break camp at the beginning of April. Best-case scenario for Correia is to perform well with the Mariners this spring, and hopefully latch on elsewhere as a starter. Regardless of the Correia signing, I expect Taijuan Walker or Roenis Elias to win the final spot in the Seattle rotation.

Next: Walker, Miller Lead Mariners Past Indians

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