For Padres' Kevin Correia, 2010 Will Be Critical

Josh LevittSenior Analyst IMarch 1, 2010

PEORIA, AZ - FEBRUARY 24:  Kevin Correia of the San Diego Padres poses during photo day at Peoria Stadium on February 24, 2009 in Peoria, Arizona. (Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images)
Donald Miralle/Getty Images

2010 is a big year for free agent to be Kevin Correia. And he knows it:

“I want to repeat and improve on what I did last season,” the right-handed starter said Saturday.

If he does, the 29-year-old native San Diegan could be sitting pretty this time next spring.

Correia is a free agent at the end of this season.

After going 12-11 last year with a 3.91 ERA in 33 starts, Correia got $3.6 million from the Padres for this season—the sides settling in lieu of arbitration.

But when the 2010 season ends, the Padres hold no options on Correia. He is free to sign with anyone.

“Yes, this is an important year,” Correia said. “But every year is like that. What’s good about this year is that I have last season to build from. It’s given me some momentum.”

Ultimately if Correia is able to repeat his 2009 performance, then it's doubtful he will be back with the cash strapped Padres.

One factor that is working against Correia is that the class of free agent starting pitchers is very strong and features a number of big names and high upside pitchers.

If Correia is going to land a lucrative multi-year deal and avoid Todd Wellemeyer territory, then he needs to put together a big 2010 season that proves that he is not just a one year wonder and continue to show that he can pitch effectively away from PETCO Park.

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