Nationals Sign Patrick Corbin to Six-Year Deal

The first big name in Major League Baseball free agency has found his home as starting pitcher Patrick Corbin signed a six-year, $140 million deal with the Washington Nationals on Tuesday. Pending a physical, the deal will become official and make Corbin's contract worth more than what Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Yu Darvish got last offseason which was a six-year, $126 million deal.

The 29-year-old posted the best season of his career last year with the Arizona Diamondbacks, going 11-7 with a 3.15 ERA over 33 starts. For the second time in his career, Corbin was an All-Star Game selection which he previously did back in 2013. The left-hander dealt 200 innings with the D-Backs, striking out 246 batters and walking another 48 of them. Corbin also threw one complete game shutout which was the first in his career, the Arizona starter had three complete games back in 2013 but not of the shutout variety.

Being considered one of the top starting pitchers in the free agency market this offseason, the demand for Patrick Corbin's services were high. Not only were the Diamondbacks looking to resign the lefty, but the Philadelphia Phillies and New York Yankees were also in the running for the starter alongside the Nationals who were the eventual winners of the sweepstakes. The Yankees were thought to have the most desire to signing Corbin given their need for starting pitching, but would not agree to a deal that was longer than five years. Getting Corbin is another building block for the Nationals who are coming off a mediocre season that saw them miss the playoffs and finish behind the Atlanta Braves in the division in a season they were expected to again contend in the National League.

While the bottom of the rotation is a bit of a question mark for the Nats, their top three pitchers are set in stone. Corbin will be joining the duo of Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg in Washington rotation which sounds like a nightmare for any team to face. The organization better hope so too considering how much money they are dishing out to these three starters on a yearly basis to go out there every five days and pitch. Scherzer's base salary is $30.26 million, Strasburg's comes in at $35 million, and while we do not yet know the base salary for Corbin it is likely up there considering he will make an average of $23.33 million per year with the Nats.

With this move, the Nationals instantly bolster their starting rotation and have three reliable arms. Now they will have to focus on making sure their offense is up to par this upcoming season to provide run support for the pitching staff. Last season, the Nationals averaged 4.76 runs per game which was seventh-best in Major League Baseball. If they can manage that kind of offense yet again this year and lower the team's earned run average from the 4.03 ERA they posted last season, we could see Washington back in the playoffs. The big question about this offense is essentially where Bryce Harper will sign this offseasonthis move for Corbin could signal that the Nats are looking to move away from the slugger. If Harper leaves the team how much that impacts the Nationals on offense will be seen next season given his level of talent. But regardless, the important takeaway from this deal is the greater sense of stability the Washington Nationals will have in their rotation for 2019.

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