The Pittsburgh Pirates announced the addition of Kevin Correia yesterday around 5:00 PM, which was supposed to come with a corresponding move where the Pirates would remove someone from the 40-man roster, creating space for Correia. However, we learned yesterday that the Pirates have until Monday to make such a decision, as that is when the move becomes MLB official (presumably due to MLB office hours).
We knew Correia had agreed to a deal for about a week, but the timing of the announcement was very interesting. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the Pirates waited until 5:00 PM on a Friday to make the deal official. This gives them two extra days to make a decision on who they will remove from the 40-man roster. Those extra days seem unnecessary when you consider that:
-The Pirates knew since the winter meetings that they would need to clear a roster spot, since they agreed to deals with Scott Olsen, Kevin Correia, Matt Diaz, and Lyle Overbay, while adding Josh Rodriguez as a Rule 5 selection, with only four roster spots available.
-Nothing can happen in the off-season to really change the value of a player, so the extra two days (on top of the week they’ve already had) won’t shed any more light on a potential decision.
If the Pirates were just going to designate a player for assignment, they could have done that on Friday. They had a week to make a decision on who they would remove from the roster, and the two extra days won’t help that decision making process. The timing of the move is interesting, because it could mean that the Pirates will use those extra days to trade someone, perhaps Ryan Doumit.
After the signing of Overbay, we learned that the Pirates were stepping up their efforts to trade Doumit, not that they weren’t trying to trade him prior to the addition of Overbay. The delay in signing Correia, which resulted in two additional days to clear a 40-man roster spot, could give the Pirates two extra days to clear a roster spot with a trade of Doumit.
The extra days don’t guarantee that the Pirates will make a trade this weekend. However, if they were just going to designate someone for assignment, they could have done that earlier in the day on Friday. The fact that they waited until late Friday to make Correia official, thus giving them those extra days, suggests that they might use those days to make a trade, rather than just removing someone from the roster.