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Wanting to start, Pirates' Correia seeks trade

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Sunday, July 29, 2012, 5:30 p.m.

HOUSTON — Right-hander Kevin Correia, who last week was taken out of the starting rotation, has asked the Pirates to trade him. “I want to start,” Correia said. “For that to happen, I'll have to go someplace else.”

Correia (8-6, 4.24) was sent to the bullpen when the Pirates acquired left-hander Wandy Rodriguez. Correia has won his past five starts.

He made his first relief outing this season Sunday, and allowed four runs and five hits.

“We're open to a trade, but it's got to be something that makes us better,” GM Neal Huntington said on his weekly radio show.

Huntington noted that Correia will be a free agent after this season, and not starting could reduce his market value. “With all due respect to Kevin, we wouldn't expect him to be happy (about relieving),” Huntington said. “We do expect him to be professional. His motivation is to do well. We don't have any concerns that Kevin will become a problem (in the clubhouse).”

Huntington said “it's almost unavoidable” that Correia will make a couple of spot starts in the final two months of the season. The Pirates could use a six-man rotation a time or two to give starters extra rest.

The non-waiver trade deadline is 4 p.m. Tuesday. The Pirates are seeking a corner outfielder, first baseman or shortstop and/or bench piece.

“If we can add a player, we will,” Huntington said. “Clubs in our position sometimes subtract and add from the major league club ... but I'm not saying anything is imminent.”

• Huntington said right-hander Brad Lincoln will be used exclusively as a reliever. “Our depth allows us not to juggle him back and forth,” Huntington said. At this point, Lincoln is not stretched out enough to go beyond 55 or 60 pitches. “He's better served as a late-inning or multi-inning reliever,” Huntington said.

• The Pirates originally planned to call up outfielder Starling Marte after the Triple-A All-Star Game, but they changed their minds when he went into a batting funk at Indianapolis. “He looked a little tired,” Huntington said. Marte made his major league debut Thursday, two weeks after the all-star game.

Andrew McCutchen was not in the starting lineup Sunday. “It's time for him to get a blow,” manager Clint Hurdle said, adding that he plans to give a few other regulars some down time over the next week or so. The Pirates are in the midst of a stretch in which they play 33 games in 34 days.

e_SNbS— Rob Biertempfel

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