According to Fancred’s Jon Heyman, free agent starter Patrick Corbin has signed a six-year deal worth $140 million with the divisional rival Washington Nationals.
Heyman also reported that the Phillies offered Corbin a five-year contract, the amount of which was not disclosed.
This news comes on the heels of Andy Martino of SNY reporting that the Phillies were in a “strong position” in the Corbin sweepstakes. USA Today’s Bob Nightengale also said the Phillies had told Corbin they were not going to be outbid by any opposing teams.
It just goes to show free agency can move faster than the speed of light and nothing is guaranteed. It’s also a tough pill to swallow that Corbin is heading to a division rival in a division whose teams have all been very active this off-season. At the same time, one could argue Corbin is not worth the $140 million he received.
Now that Corbin is off the market, the Phillies will look elsewhere to fill their pitching needs. Three names come to mind based on the reports of numerous analysts: J.A. Happ, Nathan Eovaldi and Yusei Kikuchi. All three pitchers vary in age, performance and contract demands, but any one would help to give the Phillies an additional starter that would fit into the middle of the rotation.
Looking at the situation from a broader view, not spending on Corbin gives the team more ammunition to either increase its offers to Bryce Harper, Manny Machado or any other upper tier free agents – or they could spread that money around to lesser tier free agents. The Phillies likely won’t be deter from free agency even after missing out on one of their top targets.