The Washington Nationals have landed the best free agent starting pitcher on the open market. After agreeing to a six-year deal on Tuesday afternoon, Patrick Corbin will pitch in the nation’s capital in 2019 and beyond.
The star lefty was highly coveted during the first weeks of the offseason. Corbin was seeking a deal bigger than the one that Yu Darvish signed with the Cubs last offseason and he got it: his six-year deal is worth $140 million.
Reports are now out that the Nationals will defer the payment on Corbin’s contract much like they did with Max Scherzer’s deal that he signed a few years back. This means that instead of giving the lefty all 140 million over six years, he will get it over a longer period of time, like 12 years, for example.
The Nationals rotation is now as dangerous as anyone’s when healthy. In 200 innings last season, Corbin struck out 246 batters and posted a 3.15 ERA, walking just 48 batters. The left hander uses his slider as his out-pitch. Combined with Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg, the Nationals now boast one of the best 1-3 pitchers in baseball.
All eyes now shift to New York where the Yankees lost out on the Corbin sweepstakes. New York missing out on Corbin likely means that they will bring in JA Happ or Nathan Eovaldi, both of which were considered Corbin fallback options.
This also means that the Nationals may be preparing for life without Bryce Harper. It was reported earlier in the week that Harper could very well wind up back in DC but with the signing of Corbin that appears less likely now.
The trickle-down effect of the first huge free agent coming off the market will be something to watch over the next week as the Winter Meetings take place.
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