Report: Pirates sign Kevin Correia to two-year, $8 million contract

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According to Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com, the Pirates have signed Kevin Correia to a two-year, $8 million contract, pending a physical.

Correia, 30, went 10-10 with a 5.40 ERA over 28 games (26 starts) with the Padres in 2010 and lost his spot in the starting rotation during the final month of the season. It was an odd year for Correia in many respects, as he struck out more batters (7.14 K/9) than he did in 2009 (6.45 K/9), but his walk rate increased from 2.91 BB/9 to 3.97 BB/9. He also gave up 20 home runs over 145 innings, despite allowing flyballs less frequently (30.1 percent) than he did in 2009 (36 percent).

In any case, hard to go too crazy about this one. Correia should actually be one of the better starters in a shaky Pittsburgh rotation that includes the likes of James McDonald, Paul Maholm and Ross Ohlendorf, but that’s not saying much, really.

Because Correia (a Type B free agent) turned down arbitration from the Padres, the club will receive a supplementary draft pick in next year’s draft.

Will Middlebrooks carted off field with injury

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Phillies third baseman Will Middlebrooks suffered a serious injury during Saturday’s Grapefruit League contest against the Orioles. The infielder was chasing down a pop fly in the eighth inning when he ran into left fielder Andrew Pullin, who inadvertently trapped Middlebrooks’ ankle under his leg. Middlebrooks was unable to put weight on his leg following the collision and was carted off the field and taken to a local hospital for X-rays.

Per MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki, not much is known yet about the severity of the ankle injury or the recovery time it will require, though it appears serious enough to set Middlebrooks back considerably as he seeks a backup/bench role with the team this spring.

The 29-year-old is currently seeking another opportunity to extend his six-year major-league career in 2018. He’s coming off of two down years with the Brewers and Rangers, during which he slashed a cumulative .169/.229/.262 with four extra bases through 70 plate appearances.