The best free agent pitcher on the market this offseason is now off the market and, surprisingly, will not wear pinstripes in 2019. The former Diamondback starting pitcher Patrick Corbin signed a six-year, $140 million contract with the Washington Nationals on Tuesday.
With this deal Corbin outdid the biggest free-agent contract given to a starting pitcher in either of the past two winters, easily surpassing the six years, $126 million the Chicago Cubs gave Yu Darvish (we all know how that one worked out) last offseason.
Corbin had a dominant 2018 season, putting up an impressive 3.15 ERA in 200 innings while striking out 248. Corbin finished fifth in the National League Cy Young voting behind Jacob deGrom, Max Scherzer, Aaron Nola, and Kyle Freeland. This was while playing in an extremely hitter’s friendly ballpark in Arizona.
Corbin was reportedly pursued by the Philidelphia Phillies and (of course) the New York Yankees before making the choice to play in the Nation’s capital. Corbin will be the number two guy for the Nationals behind superstar Max Scherzer for as long as the two continue to sport Nationals uniforms.
The Washington Nationals picking up Corbin is proof that despite the almost-guaranteed loss of Bryce Harper, the team is still planning on competing for a playoff spot in order to not waste some of the most incredible talents that have ever been bestowed onto a team via the draft. The Nationals have a tall task at hand with the Braves and the Phillies only getting better so this could be Washington’s final hurrah before an inevitable rebuild.