The Twins will save about $1.5 million of Kevin Correia's salary by sending him to the Dodgers, but that's not the most valuable thing they were looking to get from Saturday's trade. They wanted the roster spot, and even more important, the rotation spot. They want to see if Tommy Milone can pitch like he did with Oakland this year, where he won six games and posted a 3.55 ERA -- lower than anyone in the Twins' rotation. (He also now cannot reach six years of service time until after the 2018 season, giving the Twins an extra year of control before he reaches free agency.) They also have Ricky Nolasco coming back next week, presuming Sunday's rehab start in Cedar Rapids goes well, and they are committed to giving Trevor May his shot, too. So even with Correia gone, the Twins have six starters in their rotation for the moment. Yohan Pino is 30 years old, probably not part of the team's longterm future, and has been OK, but not great, since joining the Twins. It's entirely possible he's pitching for his job Tuesday in Houston, and it's also possible that it might not matter much.
As for Correia, he'll be remembered by the statistics he posted, which aren't particularly good, especially this season. But Ron Gardenhire said "he's been a pleasure, nothing but a pleasure," and that's a universal sentiment in the clubhouse. Correia's laid-back California demeanor made him all but impossible to fluster, a valuable trait in a clubhouse where the losing takes a toll. He also delivered exactly what the Twins were looking for when they signed him: Innings. He never lived up to the promise of his first month with the team, when he went at least seven innings in all five starts and posted a 2.23 ERA. But he rarely missed a turn, consumed 314 innings and while he was no ace, he did deliver 30 quality starts. "I know he had some ups and downs, but he always seemed to give us a chance," Gardenhire said.
Correia also had nice things to say about his team, between goodbye hugs. "I enjoyed every minute of it. The guys on the team and the coaching staff, everyone was great," he said. "I wish we had won more games, obviously. But besides that, I couldn't have enjoyed my time any more in Minnesota and with this organization."
The trade also had one other nice side effect: It served to deflect all of the postgame spotlight from Trevor May, who absolutely suffered through a nightmare debut. He walked seven batters, recorded only six outs and seemed to fall apart on the mound. But he stood up and answered questions after the game, which couldn't have been easy, either. "I missed a couple pitches to [Eric] Sogard there in the second [inning], and let things snowball a little bit," he said of his five-walk, three-run, 42-pitch inning. "When you're struggling to throw strikes, every pitch is a constant battle to get it back, and I didn't do a good job of that." He said he can learn from the experience, and he'll get a chance. Gardenhire made it clear that May will start when his turns comes up next, presumably Friday in Target Field against the Royals.