Results tagged ‘ free agent ’
Kevin Correia had a difficult year both on and off the mound. After finishing the season 10-10 with a 5.40 ERA (he went 12-11 with a 3.97 ERA in 2009) Correia used this offseason to deal with the death of his younger brother.
In May, Trevor Correia fell off a cliff while hiking at Channel Islands National Park in Santa Barbara, Ca. Kevin was scheduled to start the next day against the Houston Astros.
After taking a week of bereavement leave, Correia started against the Los Angeles Dodgers on May 15th and allowed four runs in 5.1 innings.
The Padres were in the mist of an unbelievable season, leading the National League West. Correia’s week leave wasn’t enough time to come to grips with the loss of his brother and he felt a responsibility to continue to go out to the mound.
“It was tough,” he said. “It was the middle of the season and I still had work to do, so I had to push it back as far as I could. It’s hard to really focus on the games. It’s hard to put your whole heart into it.”
Correia believes that after coming to peace with his loss, he can live up to his potential.
“I was able to sit back and figure things out,” he said. “In the long run, that will make me stronger and better from a baseball standpoint. I can go out there and know it’s not a do-or-die situation. There are other things in life that are more important. It frees me to go out there and maybe do some stuff I wasn’t able to do before.”
The 30-year-old right-hander was non tendered by the Padres in November, and was on General Manager Neal Huntingon’s radar.
“Our scouts saw almost the exact same stuff they saw during his success in 2009,” Huntington said. “The huge bump in his ERA was due to a lot of factors beyond his control.”
“We saw some very positive signs,” he said. “There’s every reason in the world to believe he’ll have a solid bounce-back year and again be that guy who has a chance to win every time he takes the ball.”
The Pirates signed Correia to a two-year $8 million contract in December.
After spending the weekend at Piratefest, meeting his new teammates and the fans of Pittsburgh, Correia is excited for the new season to start. “Coming to an event like this, it helps me flip the switch,” he said. “I’m excited to get back out there and throw the ball again.”
John Perrotto of Baseballprospectus.com and baseball columnist of the Beaver County times said Thursday night the Pirates may sign left-hand pitcher Joel Beimel.
“Hearing there is a very good chance that LHP Joe Beimel, the pride of Elk County and Duquesne, will sign with the Pirates as a free agent.”
Troy Renck of the Denver Post confirmed those reports and also said, he was “lured by the role, manager Clint Hurdle and family in the area.”
Beimel is a Pennsylvania native and attended college at Duquesne University.
The 34-year-old lefty had a 3.40 ERA in 71 games with the Rockies during the 2010 season. The 10-year Major League veteran is 23-31 lifetime with a 4.16 ERA.
Pirates beat reporter Jenifer Langosch answers fans questions in this weeks inbox (You can read the entire transcript here). Here, she addresses the current pitching rotation.
Are the Pirates done pursuing free-agent pitchers? Can we expect any more help other than Kevin Correia and Scott Olsen? Neither of them seems to be a front-of-the-rotation guy. I certainly was hoping for more given the young talent in the field and the poor starting pitching performance last year.
The Pirates will contend that even if they don’t add any more starting pitchers this offseason, they will enter the 2011 season in better shape than they ended up last year. It’s hard to argue that given how bad the 2010 results were for the starters. Correia has potential to help stabilize the rotation, and Olsen gives the Bucs more depth for the back end of the rotation.
The truth is, though, that the biggest effect on the rotation can come not from the new additions, but the returning starters. Guys like Ross Ohlendorf, Paul Maholm, Charlie Morton and Brad Lincoln are going to have to put poor 2010 seasons behind them and move closer to their potential. If improvements can be made from that group, the rotation can go somewhere. If they don’t, it’s going to be another long season.
Now certainly, adding another experienced and proven starter would increase the chances of the rotation making significant strides forward. But there just aren’t many options left. The best free-agent pitcher left was Carl Pavano, who is returning to Minnesota.
A more realistic signing would be Jeff Francis, who continues to look for a contract that includes a guaranteed roster spot. The Pirates, who would give Francis the opportunity to play under Clint Hurdle again, might offer that. Francis, who has had recent injury issues, is a another risky sign. But he would likely take a contract laced with incentives.
Jerry Crasnick of ESPN reports: Free agent [pitcher] Jeff Francis still drawing interest from 7 clubs — Nationals, Royals, Pirates, Rangers, Rockies and both NY teams.
Francis, who will turn 30 on January 8th, went 4-6 with a 5.00 ERA for the Colorado Rockies during the 2010 season. Through 104.1 innings, he walked 23 and struck out 67. Francis missed the entire 2009 season recovering from a shoulder injury.
The Pirates are still looking to add starting pitching depth. The projected starters for this season are: Paul Maholm, Ross Ohlendorf, Kevin Correia and James McDonald with the fifth spot still open. Charlie Morton, Scott Olsen and Brad Lincoln are among the starters who will compete as the fifth starter at spring training.
Troy Renck of the Denver Post reports: Also Clint Hurdle’s familiarity w Francis’ injury history huge benefit when a guy is trying to rebound with a new team.
Jeff Francis is a pro, great teammate. If healthy, will help someone. If were me, I’d go to pitcher’s park. Give him some margin for error.
The Pirates officially announce a two-year deal with outfielder Matt Diaz. The news of the agreement came a week ago, during the winter meetings. The contract is reported to be worth $4.2 million ($2M in 2010 and 2012 plus a $250,000 signing bonus). Diaz has a career .335 batting average and .533 slugging percentage against left-handers over eight major league seasons.
Diaz will platoon in right with Garrett Jones (.282 hitter against right-handers). Ryan Doumit and John Bowker are also back-up options for the Bucs.
Diaz says he is excited to join the Pirates:
On why the Pirates were the right choice:
“Really Clint Hurdle. Met with him at the winter meetings. I talked to him once on the phone before that. He and Neal Huntington came In and gave a great presentation on where the organization is heading. So that was very important for me to go back and ask them for a second year to be a part of it. I think we are going to surprise some people. I really think by 2012, you’re really going to see this young core of players really mesh together and really make a run at this thing.”
Diaz, who has known Andrew McCutchen since he was in 8th grade, said, “He is the most underrated superstar in baseball.”
On what he thinks about playing at PNC Park: “I like hitting the ball to right center and I like the way the ball carries here. Hopefully it will be a friendly park for me to hit in, a friendly park for me to play defense in and hopefully produce some runs so we can win some games.”
On his dream of playing in a world series: “I know people in Pittsburgh nation will laugh, but, hopefully in the next couple of years we can do that.”
Other News and Notes:
- The Pirates two-year deal with pitcher Kevin Correia should be finalized later this week. In order for him to be put on the 40-man roster, the Bucs must remove someone, as it is full.
- Rob Biertempfel of the Trib reports: The Pirates are stepping up efforts to trade Ryan Doumit, who’s bumped down now to a $5.1 M bench player, backup catcher.
- According to Jesse Behr of Baseball Prospectus, he is “Hearing whispers of a Ryan Doumit-for-Marco Scutaro deal”. Scutaro in 2010 with the Red Sox hit 11 home runs, 56 RBI with a .275 average.
The Pirates have reached a one-year deal with free agent Lyle Overbay on Tuesday. The financial terms have not been released yet regarding the first baseman.
Overbay hit .243 with 20 homers and 67 RBIs in 154 games last season. The soon to be 34-year-old hit 37 doubles during the 2010 season. He has spent the past five years in Toronto and is a career .274 hitter.
“Lyle Overbay is a solid Major League player, and we expect him to have a positive impact on our club offensively, defensively and in the clubhouse,” general manager Neal Huntington said in a statement.
Overbay is a solid defensive first baseman. His .996 fielding percentage ranked 2nd in the American League last season. He also led all first baseman with 150 double plays and 101 assists.
With the signing of Overbay, Garrett Jones will spend the 2010 season platooning in both right field and first base. Huntington said Doumit will assume a bench role and as a back up catcher to Chris Snyder (that is, if the Pirates don’t trade Doumit before the season begins. The Bucs have been shopping Ryan).
Update: Overbay signed a one-year deal worth $5M.
He also had lunch on Tuesday afternoon with Manager Clint Hurdle: “(Hurdle) was a big part of my decision,” Overbay said. “I talked to a lot of people about him. I like that way he goes about it — his honesty, his knowledge of the game, his energy. He made me feel comfortable. I’m an easy-going guy, too, but when it’s time to go after it, I know how to turn the switch. He’s the same way.”
Overbay’s deal is only for one season but, “I’m hoping it will last longer than (one season),” he said.
The Pirates have agreed to a two-year deal with outfielder Matt Diaz reported to be worth $4.2 million . The Bucs did not confirm the deal -which still needs to be finalized.
It has been reported that Diaz was offered several other two-year deals worth more money, but turned them down to play on the East Coast (close to his family).
Diaz has played most of his career in left field, but would play in right field for the Bucs. In his five year career with the Atlanta Braves he batted .305.
The Pirates were looking for a bat to crush lefties. Diaz in his career against left handed pitching: .335 AVG, .373 OBP, .533 SLG with a .907 OPS.
Despite the Diaz signing, Neal Huntington is not done.
“We’ll always look for upgrades and always look for ways to improve the club,” Huntington said. “We’ve got to be smart about it, but it may come at the cost of prospects. There may come a time where it may come at the cost of a lot of prospects. At this point we’re always looking for upgrades.”
The Bucs are interested in signing another starter or two. Huntington also said he would be willing to trade Evan Meek or Joel Hanrahan if the deal was right.
“Too many options are never a bad thing, and that’s where we’re trying to go,” Huntington said. “We’re trying to add depth. We’re trying to give ourselves choices to make. We love power with strikeouts, but short of that, sometimes a variety of looks and a variety of stuff can help give a manager options.”
“I think a lot of people are beating up our bullpen because of the unknown,” Huntington said. “There is some power there. There is also some risk. It makes us feel like we don’t have to go seek an upgrade. But if there is one there that makes sense for us, we’ll certainly look.”
According to sources, Brandon Webb is nowhere close to being ready to pitch after major shoulder surgery. A source said “he’d be stunned “if he pitches at full strength this spring or appears in a major-league game early in 2011. His fastball was clocked in the low-to-mid 80s this fall.
Talks between Chan Ho Park and the Pirates have seemed to have cooled off.
Park, who is now a free agent, has been listening to offers from other teams and the right handed reliever does not appear to be at the top of the Pirates list.
“There hasn’t been a ton of dialogue,” Neal Huntington said on Tuesday. “With the quality of person that he is and what he did with us, [you] absolutely have to keep an open mind to it. But I’d say things are not imminent at all.”
The Pirates claimed Park off waivers in August. He posted a 3.49 ERA with 23 strikeouts and seven walks in 28 1/3 innings.
D.J. Carrasco signed a two-year deal with the New York Mets on Tuesday.
The Arizona Diamondbacks non-tendered Carrasco last week. Combined with the Pirates and Dbacks, he went 3-2 with a 3.62 ERA through 78.1 innings.