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  1. What’s even more baffling is that Kevin Correia pitching for the same team with far worse primary and secondary stats got 2 years $10 million and isn’t really a big innings eater either (145, 154, 171 the last 3 years).

    Bizarre to say the least, I’m glad the ugliest man in MLB is back on the roster.

    Comment by Pirates Hurdles — January 16, 2013 @ 10:10 am

  2. surprised there wasn’t more of a market for him.

    Comment by Spike — January 16, 2013 @ 10:11 am

  3. Did you ever notice the resemblance he has to a younger Bob Walk?

    Comment by bjs2025 — January 16, 2013 @ 10:45 am

  4. Good post and shows more humility than most fangraphs/BP posts.

    Comment by fred — January 16, 2013 @ 12:23 pm

  5. I am a life-long Pirates fan. I like Jeff Karstens – especially given the options available. But one thing that keeps puzzling me with regards to every baseball media outlet I have read is the automatic assumption that James McDonald is a major league pitcher. The last couple of months of 2012 were beyond awful. I watch the Pirates a lot on Extra Innings. He has very good stuff. His problem is between his ears I think. By the end of last season he appeared to have lost all confidence. Making the assumption that he will take the ball 30 times next season seems like a pretty big leap of faith to me.

    Comment by Utah Dave — January 16, 2013 @ 12:24 pm

  6. One thing to note is that he takes up a roster spot on the 40 man roster. so you sign him, have to ‘give up’ a player through waivers, and then he gets hurt and you are out. A minor concern to some I suppose, but still a concern.

    depends on your roster construction I suppose. Maybe he would make a better RP?

    Comment by Bill — January 16, 2013 @ 12:36 pm

  7. And this is why I think the Pirates shouldn’t have played cute with Karstens – I think they got lucky to get him back*, and that they will need someone in addition to AJ, Wandy, McDonald, Locke & McPherson, even if the youngsters are basically productive. You can hope that Cole is ready to contribute come June, but hope is not a plan.

    *because of game theory on another level – how could Huntington know that none of the other 29 GMs would offer him even $3M?

    Comment by JRoth — January 16, 2013 @ 4:14 pm

  8. Important to note that he was a Cy Young candidate for the first half of the year. Definitely not a given that he makes it through the year in the rotation, but when you consider that Cole’s on the horizon, Morton will return at some point, and two of Locke/McPherson/Irwin will not make the rotation (maybe all 3 if Liriano gets signed), they actually have better depth than most teams at SP. Their 6th, 7th and 8th starters are far better than what the Giants have in AAA, for one example. It’s just that the front (and middle) of the rotation doesn’t have a lot of guarantees.

    Comment by Pitnick — January 16, 2013 @ 11:36 pm

  9. He obviously didn’t know for sure, but he seemed to have an inkling that there would be minimal interest. And he was right. You could call that lucky, I’d me more inclined to say it was a calculated risk that payed off.

    Comment by Dan — January 17, 2013 @ 10:02 am

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