The Winter Meetings are a week away, but one of the biggest free agents on the market has already made some visits and could sign very soon:
Patrick Corbin decision is expected to come soon. yankees, phillies and nats are all serious, in the game with strong bids and have to be considered the favorites, though a couple others have been looking at ways to try to pull an upset.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) December 3, 2018
Patrick Corbin, 29, was incredible last year in his second full season back from Tommy John surgery (3.15 ERA over 200.0 innings, with a stellar 2.47 FIP), and he’s going to be paid very handsomely in free agency for it (plus his relative youth).
As Heyman notes, the three perceived finalists are the Yankees, Phillies, and Nationals, with most having expecting Corbin to go to the Yankees from thing one this offseason. We’ll see – should he wind up with the Phillies or Nationals, though, it’ll just be further escalation of the NL East arms race. If he goes to the Phillies, then, having already landed Jean Segura, it makes you wonder how aggressive they will be on Manny Machado and Bryce Harper. If Corbin goes to the Nationals, it would make you doubt they could also sign Harper to a monster deal.
Projections for Corbin typically range into the five to six-year, $100 to $130 million area. How he does – especially signing this early – could be something of a bellwether for the free agent market, which has been extremely slow so far.
Moreover, once he signs, a number of other impacted pursuits will be able to shake loose a little more. Given that three big market clubs are awaiting this decision, and given that other free agents are likewise no doubt wanting to see how Corbin does, this is a pretty important moment for the offseason.