One of the biggest free agents on the market has found a new home. The Washington Nationals ended as the winners of the Patrick Corbin sweepstakes, as reported by Chelsea Janes of The Washington Post. The club signed Corbin to a six-year, $140 million deal on Tuesday afternoon, beating out the New York Yankees and the Philadelphia Phillies for rights to the talented southpaw.
Nationals have agreed to terms on a deal with Patrick Corbin, according to a person familiar. Pending physical.
— Chelsea Janes (@chelsea_janes) December 4, 2018
Corbin had been one of the more coveted players in free agency, with the Yankees, the Phillies, and the Nationals being his primary suitors. After meetings with each team during the past couple of weeks, Corbin sifted through their offers before settling on the current six-year deal with Washington. Both New York and Philadelphia were reluctant to provide Corbin with a sixth year on their contract offers. As a result of the signing, the Arizona Diamondbacks will receive a compensation pick in the 2019 MLB Draft, as Corbin rejected the team’s Qualifying Offer. The Nationals will lose a second-round pick.
Corbin had a spectacular walk year with the Arizona Diamondbacks, pitching 200 innings to the tune of a 3.15 ERA/2.47 FIP, with 246 strikeouts and an ERA+ of 137. After struggling to retain his 2013 form, which occurred prior to his Tommy John surgery in 2014, Corbin switched up his pitch usage. He relied primarily on his devastating slider, which held batters to a .148/.193/.246 slash line and recording 194 strikeouts in 2018. Corbin did a great job keeping the ball in the yard, as well, as he only gave up 15 home runs in 2018, the lowest of his career in a full season.
The signing of Corbin gives the Nationals a stable front-end to their rotation, as Corbin joins Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg to produce a “three-headed monster.” However, this could limit the chance to bring back superstar outfielder Bryce Harper, who turned down a ten-year, $300 million deal before the end of the season. If Corbin can continue his current form, the hope is that the Nationals can return to the postseason and make headway in making the first World Series in their franchise history.
As for the Phillies and the Yankees, the teams will turn their focus back to the free agent market to redeem themselves for this loss. Dallas Keuchel, Nathan Eovaldi, and Charlie Morton are still available on the open market. On the trade front, Cleveland Indians’ starters Corey Kluber and Trevor Bauer are garnering the most interest, as well as the potential of Madison Bumgarner returning to the rumor mill.
Featured Photo: Patrick Corbin pitches for the Arizona Diamondbacks (CC: Denis Poroy, Getty Images)