In a season that has seen the Pittsburgh Pirates outperform all expectations, Kevin Correia remains one of the weaker links on the roster.
Though Correia has managed to keep his team in most games through a combination of consistency and luck, the production he has given the Pirates from the No. 5 slot in the rotation can be matched or exceeded by major league-ready Triple-A starters such as Jeff Locke, Rudy Owens, or Justin Wilson.
Simply put, it's time for the Pirates to cut ties with Correia. Yet there is no need to release him outright; there are many teams with a lesser rotation than Pittsburgh's for whom Correia could fill a hole at the back of the rotation.
Some of these teams are in contention and may be willing to give up a piece with some value for Correia, while others are rebuilding and may be willing to trade a veteran hitter for a pitcher who won't get shelled every five days.
Correia won't net much value in a trade, but given the inconsistency of this year's Pittsburgh offense a fringe starter at first base could be useful down the stretch, and that is exactly the type of commodity that is likely to be available on the trade market. And if the Bucs are willing to package Correia with one of their third- or fourth-tier prospects, they may be able to land a decent return.