Published: Thu, December 06, 2018
Sports | By Sarah Myers

Nationals sign ace starter Patrick Corbin to six-year contract

Nationals sign ace starter Patrick Corbin to six-year contract

With the Winter Meetings coming next week and numerous offseason milestones behind us, the free agent logjam was destined to break at any second, and perhaps it just has: Patrick Corbin is reportedly signing with the Washington Nationals. He's been most prominently connected to his hometown Astros and the Red Sox as of late - neither of whom figure to be thrilled with the concept of the Yankees making an increased push to sign the flamethrowing righty. They'll reportedly now turn their attention to Nathan Eovaldi and J.A. Happ, instead. But the Yankees coveted the 29-year-old, who was 11-7 with a 3.15 earned run average in 33 starts for Arizona last season.

The Phillies are still favorites to land Harper (if I had to guess), but because the Nationals, one of his primary suitors until now, just became a lot less likely to sign him and the Yankees were "out" on Harper as of this morning, the Cubs' chances - however remote they may be - probably just ticked up a tiny bit. He was also reportedly set to visit the Yankees, who offered a five-year deal, but nothing beyond that. Happ could be a safer, more cost-efficient signing who makes an impact, particularly against the Red Sox, while also giving the Yankees even more flexibility to address other areas of need.

Tommy John surgery ended his 2014 season before it began, and he returned for 16 games in 2015 before struggling over the next two seasons with ERAs of 5.15 and 4.03. He'll forever be known for pitching 6.1 innings of relief on just one day's rest in Boston's 18-inning loss in Game 3. He went 2-1 with two holds and a 1.61 ERA over 22.1 innings in the playoffs.

Corbin ranked high on the wish list of the Yankees, who have already acquired Mariners left-hander James Paxton and are looking to add another impact starter. Well, industry insiders and media types seem to think the Yankees can still find that other top-of-the-rotation arm on the open market, but with the winter meetings beginning on Sunday in Las Vegas, it would be premature to rule out Cashman pulling off another trade.

Eovaldi, of course, finished 2018 with Boston, emerging as a postseason hero, and Red Sox president Dave Dombrowski already acknowledged the club is interested in re-signing the hard-throwing right-hander.

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