There were concerns in this corner of the Padre blogosphere about Kevin Correia leaving. The Padres had decided to non-tender him, so as to avoid any arbitration issues and possible large bump in salary. Correia had pitched very well in 2009, as evidenced by the below chart, which includes all pitchers that started at least 9 games for San Diego last season.
The lavender highlights guys no longer with the organization. What you'll notice is Correia wasn't the best pitcher the Padres had in 2009. Even after he went on the DL and then to Chicago, Jake Peavy was a stud. However, Correia was
First in FIP
First in innings pitched
Second in K/BB ratio
Second in BB/9
Second (tie) in WHIP
Third in ERA and ERA+
Fifth (tie) in K/9.
Overall, the best starter on the staff. Why would the Padres want to let him go? Well, as has been discussed elsewhere, they couldn't afford to pay him what he would have been worth in arbitration.
That's why today's news is great. Correia signed a one-year deal reportedly worth $3.6 million. It's nice to see the Padres keep this guy for 2010.
Competition for the 5 rotation slots should be pretty intense during spring training, because there are 7 guys to choose from. However, I think we can safely say one of those spots is spoken for. And that's a good thing.
Welcome back, Kevin.