The dominoes appear to be closer to falling.
Of course, this doesn’t mean by any extent the Phillies will be signing Corbin, or even offering him a contract (at least today). But it does mean there is mutual interest between the two parties.
Corbin, 29, is thought by many to be the best pitcher available in free agency. He is coming off a spectacular season in which he went 11-7 for the Arizona Diamondbacks, with a 3.15 ERA and 246 strikeouts, as well as a registering a bWAR of 4.6. Corbin finished fifth in the National League Cy Young Award voting.
For his career, Corbin is 56-54 with a 3.91 ERA. Corbin, having broken out in 2013 with a 3.41 ERA, dealt with injuries which caused him to miss the entire 2014 season and only start 16 games in 2015. After two mediocre seasons, Corbin was finally able to get back on track, just in time for free agency.
The Phillies interest in the two-time All-Star is well documented. As NBC Sports Philadelphia‘s Jim Salisbury added, Corbin is “high on the wish list.” MLB.com‘s Jon Paul Morosi reported in early November that the Phillies were in the mix for Corbin. The Athletic‘s Ken Rosenthal also said that the Phillies were expected to be “major players” for Corbin.
Of course, the Phillies haven’t been the only team to show interest in Corbin. As Morosi also reported, the Nationals and Yankees were said to have eyes on Corbin. Corbin had previously told USA Today‘s Bob Nightengale that “it would be great” to play for the Yankees.
MLB Trade Rumors projected Corbin to land a contract of six years and $129 million. He ranks third on their list of the top 50 free agents. For most teams, that would be the big free agent signing of the offseason. However, it may be just the beginning for the Phillies. As owner John Middleton said to Nightengale, the Phillies are prepared to go big and “be a little stupid” about their spending in the offseason.
In addition to Corbin, the Phillies have been connected to dozens of other impact players, from superstar hitters Bryce Harper and Manny Machado, relievers such as Andrew Miller, and trade targets like Edwin Diaz, Madison Bumgarner and Paul Goldschmidt.
Acquiring any number of those players would certainly cost a fair amount of money and possibly prospects. Of course, the Phillies have more than enough salary space to work with. And with an aggressive mindset, anything is possible.
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