The biggest issue that most people had last off-season was that Correia was the best (healthy) pitcher the Twins have signed. His numbers indicated that he will be a good #4-5 pitcher in a competing team and he performed as such and was paid as such.
The problem was that, if your best pitcher is a number 5, you will go as far as the Twins did in 2013...
That was the issue most people had. Not the signing, but the whole picture and where he fit.
No problem on changing the thread title. Whatever encourages discussion is fine by me! Thanks to everyone for very good replies. Hopefully the discussion can continue.
I didn't take into account how upset many of us were that Correia was "the guy" last year. That is a very good explanation as to why many of us (including myself) were upset. Thanks to those who brought this up as that is a major point. We should apologize to Correia and thank him for signing here! He could have went elsewhere, but chose to come here and suffer with us while being the best SP on the staff.
I'm not as opposed to the second year now that 2013 is over. We can't change last year. We took our whooping and have moved on. Let's say we were looking for 3 SP's this year instead of two. We have signed Nolasco and Hughes (which I like and back no matter how they turn out), we all know TR and the staff would be looking for a third SP on the cheap to toss 180-200 innings next year and be okay. I don't think anyone would balk at giving Correia 5.5 million to be the third acquisition this year. As long as he stays healthy and does as we expect, the two year deal will be very worth it (which I hinted at in my original post). Would you rather give Correia 5.5 million this year for one year or Feldman 10 million a year for 3 years (I'm sure that I'm over-estimating what he will get)? Feldman is the better SP, but I'd go with Correia to save money and years.
If anything, I think TR got a huge reality check last season. He thought that somehow he could still make it on the cheap. He was hoping our AAAA pitchers would make it and Correia could help patch it together. He thought he could save money and make it happen like 2001 all over again. He learned the way things are done have changed. He learned that you need drafting/building through the system, trades, and even the dreaded FA to make it work. I'm not expecting a Cinderella season with Nolasco and Hughes, but I'd at least hope we contend for 500 and start pointing upward when Buxton, Sano, and Meyer either get here or get closer to being here.
If anything, we as fans should feel much better with Nolasco, Hughes, and Correia in the fold for 3 of the 5 spots in the rotation. As long as there are no injuries, they will log many innings and give our already decent bullpen a rest. Maybe it does turn a bit into 2001 next year and we make a little run at the Tigers and Indians!
Yes, the whole problem (that I had) last year was that Corriea was the best pitcher added. That's what upset me. I thought Corriea was fairly valued but I was also hoping for more upside.
I'm supposed to apologize for a guy who, after his out of his mind April, posted a 4.65 ERA, a 1.50 WHIP, an .841 OPS against and a nearly .500 SLG against the rest of the way?
Sounds like a big pile of meh to me.
I could do the inverse by removing Correia's May or July. Then he looks really good for the season, posting an ERA under 4.00. His second and third best months were August and September, which show that he didn't just fade as the year progressed.
Mediocre players reach mediocrity through playing well some months, bad in others. They don't post a 4.2 ERA every month of the season.
Meh to the cherry-picking of stats to manufacture a point.
Was Terry Ryan right about Kevin Correia? I think that the answer to that is an absolutely yes. He was worth more than the $5 Million. We'll see what happens in Year 2, which was always my issue with it, but he was right about Correia. He never said he was going to be an ace. Just a solid, average, innings guy. And, he was that and more.
Correia outperformed expectations, no doubt. He took the ball, provided innings, stayed healthy and pitched pretty well.
Since he was the #1 acquisition, it would seem that TR never planned on rolling out a competitive rotation in 2013.
I didn't like the Correia move either. I'm not sure he's being paid as a #4 like some are suggesting (see Jason Vargas). More like a #5.
In hindsight, we probably all need to be grateful that we didn't get a better "guy" -- they all stunk. Sure, Greinke and Sanchez were clearly better, but those were pipe dreams. A year closer to the farm graduating and TR is making moves. Let's hope they pan out better than last year's crop.
Another problem with the move was what it represented - the same tired philosophy to FA. It was fine value, but not a commendable signing.
Sure, he gave them value. But, so did Pedro Floriman. Doesn't mean you build a team around them. The issue was that he was THE signing. Using him as your 4th or 5th best pitcher makes sense....so sure, he was worth the money they paid him. But that doesn't mean it was a good signing, since it helped neither the present or the future.
I'm going with the Bo-Jackson-spiked-Terry-Ryan's-DNA-for-a-week-last-week conspiracy theory. So there.
Wasn't on these boards when Correia was signed, but as a long-time fan, all I heard was Peggy Lee's "Is That All There Is?" on the devil's radio in my head. Killed me.
Every indication at the end-of-season press conference w/Gardy was that TR was staying true to his dumpster-diving self. I think the thing swaying people following the Nolasco move is that he *followed through* (for a BIG change) with Hughes AND seems intent on AJ. That changes things now, and no doubt influences how we look through the wayback machine on Correia.
A week ago, we're looking at moves for Kris Johnson & Freyer. Same old, same old. Then this. Correia is a #4 guy, and he did #4 guy-type stuff in '13. Fine, and compared to the other FAs (good presentation, btw!) he did a solid job. He'll fit right in come '14, and could benefit from the presence of the new SPs. Or a belligerent AJ goading him. And he can move on in '15.
The key here is context. Nolasco is not a #1, but will have that role- on down the line. True #4 Correia becomes our #3, and hopefully Deduno can bounce @ #4 and do better. That's the new context. Old context was: trying to pawn off a #4 as a #1.
I'm no SABRhead, but I appreciate it and am learning. S-l-o-w-l-y. Maybe Kevin Slowly. Anyway, the Nolasco/Hughes signings are a break from past behavior for TR. Is the famous (I kid here) Twins stats Dept. finally getting a say here? (Do we have one? Are they making this stuff up?) If so, then maybe- in retrospect- their fingerprints are on the Correia deal.
Otherwise, with respect to TR, all I can say is, "Suzy Creamcheese, what's go into you?"
I want to be more clear.....in a vacuum, it was value for what they paid. In context, what good did it really do last year?
Correia definitely outperformed his value and proved me and others wrong. What bothered me mostly at the time was the second year at $5.5 million if the first year was terrible. Now, however, having Correia at that price for one year with the likes of Nolasco, Hughes, Gibson, and eventually Meyer is likely to be a great value even if his performance slips a bit.
Terry Ryan's wrongness about last year involved Vance Worley, Scott Diamond, Mike Pelfrey, and Liam Hendriks being suitable to fill in around Correia. Worley is just a puzzle. I mean . . . that bad, dude? Really? It's feasible to think TR thought Correia was the third best starter going into last season. Now it is clear that he likely is, so that's an improvement. Anything that moves Correia down to being the fifth starter is good. That said, a good season from him and he becomes a great bit of trade bait for a B- prospect at the deadline.
It would seem to me the more aggressive path taken by JR this offseason is an admission that last offseasons approach wasn't successful, regardless what Correia did or didn't accomplish.
So "no," he wasn't right.
Correia wasn't the total disaster that I thought he would be (and I did think that, as I wagered $100 that his ERA at the end of the season would be 4.50+, and it was as late in the season as early September). I will happily say that in 2013, he held up his end of the bargain and was of value to the Twins. I won't quite as easily say that he will repeat it again in 2014.
Upon looking at his Fangraphs player profile, I noticed that he stranded an awful lot of baserunners in '13--76.1% compared to his career rate of 71.9% and a league-average rate of around 70 to 72%, depending on the season. I, for one, don't really believe that stranding runners on base is a skill, just as I don't believe RBIs are a skill. I think it has more to do with luck and random distribution of outs/hits than anything else. Long story short, I think that number regresses back to the mean, which is to say he will strand between 70 and 72% of runners. In fact, the Steamer projection system really believes he will regress in that regard, projecting a LOB% of 65.9%. This spells trouble for Correia in 2014.
I certainly could be wrong. I have been before, many times. But, I'm still not sold on Correia for 2014. TR was half-right on Correia. Whether that was due to scouting or just pure variance of his career numbers, 2013 was good. And at $4.5M, he was worth the money he was paid. However, if you want to buy into what I just wrote, there's reason to believe he may not be as good in 2014. Now, at the current going rate for +1 WAR which is believed to be around $5M and trending upward, it would be tough for him to be a net loss at $5.5M in 2014. I guess what I'm arguing is that Terry Ryan has gotten about what he paid for in this deal so far, and likely will again in 2014, which is to say he paid for a slightly above replacement-level starter.
I really wasn't planning on writing a novel here, but I guess I got carried away :o
1. Ryan badly overestimated Worley, Diamond, et al. He thought the rotation would be an acceptable patchwork of pitchers. He was wrong.
2. He knew that minor league help was still a couple years away and while he was talking a good "we'll be competitive" game, he had absolutely no intent on signing anyone with the youngsters still so far away.
3. A combination of the two.
Last year, I was quite vocal about not wanting the Twins to sign expensive pitchers who will probably be in a decline phase by the time Sano, Buxton, Arcia, etc. are good players. On the other hand, I was also against Kevin Correia being "the guy" and wanted to see the Twins roll the dice on guys like Marcum or Dempster.
Turns out, I was wrong. Those guys were mostly useless in 2013. But still, I would have liked to see Ryan make an attempt to shore up the rotation with legitimate upside starters or just punt the season entirely. Either option was fine with me in the long-run but I'm not a fan of fence-sitting. The Twins didn't need to drop $100m on a starter last offeason to save face... But Kevin Correia and Mike Pelfrey just weren't going to cut it.