Nationals Ink Prized-Lefty, Bolsters Roster
When the offseason began, The Los Angeles Dodgers had just extended Clayton Kershaw to a 3-year, $93 million deal, which nearly guaranteed Patrick Corbin will be the highest paid pitcher to fetch a deal this offseason. With the New work Yankees, Cincinnati Reds, Philadelphia Phillies, Washington Nationals, amongst other clubs interested in starting pitching, a bidding war for the prized lefty would be in order. But it was the Nationals who would be the team to add the 2-time All-Star to bolster their rotation.
With Yu Darvish netting a 6-year, $126 million by the Chicago Cubs as the best pitcher in the 2017 offseason market after going 10-12 with a 3.86 ERA over 186.2 innings, and a disappointing postseason; Corbin was set to demand a deal similar to that of Darvish after performing better in his walk-year, going 11-7, with a 3.15 ERA across 200 innings, not to mention Corbin is two years younger than Darvish. While the Yankees and Phillies were seen as “front-runners” and “favorites” to sign the lefty, neither team offered a deal that surpassed 5-years. Then came the Nationals who swopped in, and offered Corbin a 6-year deal worth $140 million, which was then accepted.
Corbin’s deal with the Nationals will make the lefty, the 11th highest paid pitcher in the Major Leagues, as he will net a $23.3 million AAV (Average Annual Value) until his Age-35 season. Although Corbin’s track record has traces of inconsistency, the Nationals bet large that his 2018 stats were no fluke, and that Corbin has figured it out and will perform at an All-Star level throughout his deal.
With a starting rotation consisting of All-Stars Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg, and Patrick Corbin, all three of which pitched to sub-4.00 ERAs will be hard to beat in any playoff series and can compete against any rotation in baseball. Not to mention the under-the-radar moves made to trade for RP Kyle Barraclough, who had a down year but is only a year removed from posting three consecutive seasons of sub-3.00 ERAs, and signing RP Trevor Rosenthal. The Nationals also traded for Yan Gomes, and signed Kurt Suzuki as his backup, solidifying an area of weakness. The Nationals have enforced a young team looking to regain the NL East crown in 2019, and the addition of Corbin will help in doing so.
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