According to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, the Astros are one of a few teams in pursuit of free agent starter Kevin Correia.
Correia is 34-years old and has a career 4.59 ERA over twelve seasons with the Giants, Padres, Pirates, Twins and Dodgers. The righty would likely be a cost-efficient fill-in to the fifth spot in the Houston rotation if the two sides were to agree to terms, but why the Astros are in pursuit is a bit of a conundrum.
In the Dexter Fowler trade last week, the Astros acquired RHP Dan Straily from the Cubs, who has some upside potential as the fifth starter. Another option would be the 26-year old Asher Wojciechowski who seemed to be ready for a spot in the rotation before missing half of last season due to injury.
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While adding an established veteran could be a boost for most clubs, Kevin Correia doesn’t seem like a fit for this team. The last time Correia had an ERA under 4.00 was in 2009, and he came in at a 3.91–in Petco Park–which is one of the most pitcher-friendly ballparks around. Over a full 2013 season in Minnesota, another pitcher-friendly park, Correia’s ERA was 4.18 in 185 1/3 innings. While he may be an innings-eater, the upside just isn’t there with this free agent–especially with the talk (mostly by this site) of renaming the Crawford Boxes the Bear Den due to the amount of homers we’re expecting from Evan Gattis and company.
The best-case scenario would be Kevin Correia providing the club with around 150 innings and something in the neighborhood of a 4.25 ERA in my guesstimation. Would that be worth the money? I don’t think so. I’d rather see what Straily, Wojo, or even possibly Mark Appel as the season progresses. What do you think of the Astros looking at Correia as a fifth starter option?
In the article below, I made the case for Straily in the fifth spot over Ryan Vogelsong, but most of the logic still applies.