Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Correia's return

Many baseball people scoffed at the two-year, $8 million contract that the Pirates gave Kevin Correia last winter. "I didn't know that," Correia told me today.

So far, the Pirates are getting good value.

Correia, a Padre in 2009-2010, is 4-2 with a 2.90 ERA going into his start here tomorrow. He leads his team in innings pitched (40.1) and owns a complete game.

"It might not be enough money at the end of the year," Correia said, smiling. "Who's to say? I'm getting paid for this season. Coming off of last season, you get what you're worth. If people don't think I'm worth that amount of money, hopefully I can prove them wrong."

He's been somewhat lucky, some stats imply. And as Correia noted, we're in early May.

"Who's to say I'm not going to have a worse season than I did last year?" said the 30-year-old, who is 40-45 in his career with a 4.45 ERA. "We've just started May right now. So I'm not going to get in front of myself and say I'm going to have a great year. But I'm definitely confident right now."

Aside from "minor tweaks," Correia said he's the same pitcher who was 10-10 with a 5.40 ERA for the Padres last year.

He has said his grief over the stunning death of his brother last season had an adverse effect on him that only became apparent later -- a subject I had no interest in raising today.

Correia hired a new agent, Damon Lapa, after last season. Other agents attributed magical powers to Lapa after learning of the $8 million contract.

 The pitcher said he didn't notice the industry buzz.

"But I wasn't really concerned," he said. "It's not some large amount of money, where these guys are making $24 million a year...If some guy wins 20 games and he's making $20 million a year -- I already have four (wins) and I'm making $4 (million). So everything after this is a bonus, then.

"It's the business side. You get what you can get because you can't play your whole life. I'm always trying to do my best. I'm not really concerned with what people think I should be making or not."

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