Could Kevin Correia return to Pirates in 2013?

Anthony Gruppuso-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire

Kevin Correia is a free agent after the season. Could he return?

Bill Brink writes about the possibility that Kevin Correia, who will be a free agent this offseason, will return to the Pirates.

"We tried to find an opportunity for him to pitch in somebody else's rotation, and 20 other teams said no thanks, they're not interested," Hurdle said.

Hurdle said he made some personal phone calls on Correia's behalf ...

When asked if the Pirates would like Correia to return, Hurdle said: "There's a lot about Kevin to like. I'll leave it at that.

"You got to have interest on both sides, or it's a moot point."

For the sake of my own sanity, I'd prefer that Correia sign with some backwater like Houston or Miami so that we never have to talk about him again, but whatever, news is news. Reading between the lines, it sounds like Correia won't really want to come back, which isn't a huge surprise, given how miffed he was after the Pirates booted him out of the rotation a couple months ago.

Correia deserves a bunch of credit for his pitching down the stretch this year. If some other members of the Pirates' rotation had pitched as well as Correia since the All-Star break, the Bucs' collapse wouldn't have been nearly as bad. Still, we need to be honest about what we have here -- a pitcher who will be in his age-32 season next year who struggles to strike out half a batter an inning. As insurance, he's fine. As someone who you'd actively want in your rotation to start a season, no.

It will be interesting to see what the Pirates do with their rotation this offseason. Even with the additions of A.J. Burnett and Wandy Rodriguez over the past year (geez, can you imagine the Pirates' rotation down the stretch without those two?), it's unclear who's going to pitch all those innings. I'm not counting on Charlie Morton returning. James McDonald and Jeff Karstens should be in the rotation to start the season, and Kyle McPherson and Jeff Locke will likely pick up some starts one way or another, and I'm somewhat confident McPherson, at least, will do fairly well with them. Gerrit Cole will also hopefully be ready by June. Still, though, I wouldn't be surprised to see the Pirates try to get another starter. Another addition in the Burnett or Rodriguez (I almost just wrote "Wandriguez") mold would be a big help, but maybe that's too much to ask, given the money the Pirates are already spending on Burnett and Rodriguez themselves.

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