Patrick Corbin Says Thank You...

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons
by: Eric Boston @EricBoston3

Okay, I may be putting words into Patrick Corbin's mouth here, but he should be showing his gratitude. 

The LHP owes a shout out to two particular people for his 6 years, $140 million deal with the Washington Nationals.

Those individuals would be the Boston Red Sox's David Price and the Los Angeles Dodgers' Clayton Kershaw.

As the 2018 season came to a close, with Price's Red Sox team claiming the World Series championship over Kershaw's Dodgers, it appeared that the free agent market would be loaded. Both pitchers had the ability to opt out of their current deals and sign where they pleased. Price, Kershaw, and Corbin would have combined to make an extremely talented pitching pool for teams to throw crazy money at.

Instead, Price picked up his player option for 2019 and Kershaw signed a new three-year deal to stay in LA. 

While the position player market is ripe with talent, the "loaded" pitching pool suddenly became very top-heavy.

By default, Corbin became the best pitcher available and his financial future became much, much brighter.

For teams that needed a front-end guy there was suddenly one clear option. 

The funny thing is, I'm not convinced Corbin is an ace...but he got paid like one. So good for him. Do not get me wrong, his 2018 season was fantastic, but it was also a case of having a career year at the most opportune time.

This past season Corbin pitched to a 3.15 ERA with 246 K to 48 BB over 200.0 innings pitched. All of those numbers are career bests with the exception of his innings total, he tossed 208.1 IP in 2013. The question becomes can Corbin repeat this performance moving forward? If so then the Nationals have themselves an amazing trio as he slots into a rotation that already features Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg.

While it is possible, the most likely outcome is that Corbin falls back to the mean which is still good, just not $140 million good. 

Of course, you always have the injury concern to factor into a long-term, high dollar deal as well. With Corbin's pitch selection that concern appears more a question of when rather than if, as Buster Olney pointed out on Twitter:

Whatever may happen down the road, one thing is very certain. Patrick Corbin is sleeping well regardless.

For the Nationals, they appear to be committed to remaining contenders in the National League East even after missing the playoffs in 2018 and, up to this point, losing the services of All-Star OF Bryce Harper.

This deal could certainly prove to be a win-win for both the organization and Corbin. Washington boasts a pitching staff that has the ability to shut down any team when their hurlers are on top of their game. It is pretty clear how Corbin wins in this situation.

Many projections had him pegged for a $90 million payday. 

I believe that he has a $50 million IOU that needs to be addressed to Price and Kershaw.

Without their names on the free agency list, Corbin garnered the attention and ultimately the biggest benefit from their absence.


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