Today, we got our wish: something happened. And then the media wrote dozens of articles about it (22 of which we included). The day Bryce Harper signs will be, uh, fun?
Nationals Get Another Ace in Monster Deal with Patrick Corbin (Fangraphs)
Fangraphs projects that Corbin will be worth at least 3 WAR until 2021, and more than 2 for his entire career with the Nats, consistently pitching to an ERA in the mid-to-low 3s. Seventeen wins added over six seasons may just be worth the money — as long as he stays healthy and doesn’t regress from his killer slider-throwing. It’s a deal that looks good right now, and hopefully/likely will look ‘meh’ by 2024.
Why new Nationals starter Patrick Corbin will be worth his $140 million deal (Beyond the Box Score)
Corbin doesn’t need to replicate his 2018 season to be worth the money (of which, per Fangraphs’ FIP, he was worth quite a bit) — as long as he relies less on his fastball and more on his slider, he could very well be a high-quality starter for years to come, even with the aging curve applied.
Patrick Corbin to Washington Nationals shows NL East teams are going for it (MLB.com)
Every single NL East team save, well, you know, seems to think that they’re in it. The Braves are building off last year, the Phillies are building and lurking in the background for better players, and the Nats are making the moves they should have made last year, while the Mets got delusional. This should be fun.
Where will free-agent starting pitchers sign? (MLB.com)
The Nationals made the first move in the free-agent pitching sweepstakes, for better or for worse, which could land Dallas Keuchel in... Cincy?
Lefty-hungry Phillies turn attention to J.A. Happ and others after Patrick Corbin picks Nationals (NBC Sports Philadelphia)
The Phillies refused to go six years for Corbin (despite being willing to spend like madmen), meaning that they’ll see him four or five times this year — and that they’ll likely go after JA Happ and other, less known starters.
Patrick Corbin signs with Nationals (MLB.com)
Though the team hasn’t confirmed it, the Nats got Corbin to come to Washington by offering a sixth year. He’ll join Stephen Strasburg and Max Scherzer in what is now arguably baseball’s best rotation.
Boswell: In signing Patrick Corbin, the Nats are winning the offseason without Bryce Harper (WaPo)
The Nationals pounced while the rest of baseball counted them out. Maybe they just said goodbye to Bryce Harper — or maybe it was Mike Rizzo doing what he knew he needed to do, working as if Harper wouldn’t return, improving nearly every aspect of the team and waiting to see if the Lerners ended up pulling the trigger anyway. Alternatively, Harper signs elsewhere and the team can focus on Rendon — or they can do a whole lot of other things, because Rizzo has set them up well.
Patrick Corbin, Nationals agree to six-year deal (WaPo)
Corbin relies on a low-90s fastball and a wipeout slider, and posted reverse splits last year in terms of average. He’s no Scherzer or Strasburg, but he’s not getting Scherzer or Strasburg money.
Pursuit of Corbin underscores Nats’ desire for elite rotation (MASN)
“Starting pitching is king,” general manager Mike Rizzo said over the weekend at Nationals Winterfest. “Our philosophy is pitching, defense, athleticism. That’s how we’ve won. When we put our guy on the mound (and he) each day gives a chance to win, you’ve created yourself a chance to have a really good ballclub and play deep into October. That’s our philosophy.”
Nats Get Their Starter (The Nationals Review)
For the third time (the article says two, but we’re counting Jayson Werth) in Nationals history, the team pursued and signed a top-flight free agent. It makes Roark the four-starter again, and provides a potent big three if they can stay healthy and don’t regress.
Who is Patrick Corbin? (Cut4)
A) Cute dog owner
B) Basketball dunker
C) Future reporter
D) Good golfer
Corbin + Harper Taps:
What the Corbin deal means for the Nationals (and Bryce Harper) (The Athletic)
The Nationals have had a more active offseason than normal, re-affirming their commitment to starting pitching (they may try and get another) and reminding the NL East that they're very much still a force to be reckoned with with other moves to get Yan Gomes and Kurt Suzuki. Additionally, this move has split the media into two camps: they either believe the Nats will never, ever get Harper (mainly national media people), or that the Lerners will make a move for Harper, a separate entity, on their own (mainly local people).
Even with Corbin, Nationals still interested in Bryce Harper (MLB.com)
The Nationals' estimated payroll is at roughly $190 million — and given that the luxury tax threshold is around $206 million next year, the Nationals will have to skyrocket past it to get Harper — which it doesn't seem like they're totally opposed to.
With Patrick Corbin headed to D.C., is Bryce Harper unlikely to return? (NBC Sports Washington)
"But, Harper is the rare 26-year-old slugger on the open market. Members of the Lerner family attended his 2016 wedding. His jersey is the best-selling item the organization can provide. Kids find Harper relatable. Opponents find him, at times, arrogant and irritating. He’s his own orbit."
Nats' $140M Patrick Corbin Deal Forms Super-Rotation for Post-Harper Era Surge (Bleacher Report)
"If the Nats find a way to bring Harper back, they'll have pulled off the perfect offseason and positioned themselves as perhaps the team to beat in the NL, if not all of Major League Baseball... but what they have on paper *right now* is good enough to make them the favorites in the NL East."
Just Harper Taps:
MLB teams pulling out all the stops for Bryce Harper and Cubs reportedly still in the mix (NBC Sports Chicago)
The Cubs are going to check in on Harper, but the odds that they make an actual move for him seem unlikely.
Dodgers entering Bryce Harper sweepstakes tilts his market to the west (WaPo)
Washington, Philly, and the Bronx seem like the likeliest landing spots for Harper — but if LeBron couldn't resist L.A., how could Harper, especially if the Dodgers really got into the market? (It's also possible that Harper refuses to sign until Machado signs for, uh, ego/money reasons.)
Dodgers interest in Bryce Harper should be expected, not surprising (NBC Sports Washington)
They have the money. They have the proximity to L.A.. They win, a lot. They could fit Harper in somewhere. What doesn't make sense?
Regular National(s)/National Beat:
Howie Kendrick expects to be ready for spring (MLB.com)
The Nationals don't really know if Howie Kendrick will be ready for Spring Training, which is inconvenient, given that they could enter the second baseman market if they wanted to, but nothing is currently set.
Tweaks, not pressure, for Zimmerman going into final guaranteed year (NBC Sports Washington)
Ryan Zimmerman has played fourteen seasons in Washington, and has one more guaranteed year in a curly W, but he's not feeling the pressure — he just wants to make a few shifts and miss Spring Training again.
NL East tops division power rankings (MLB.com)
The AL West is getting worse, quickly. The AL Central is the same, as is the AL East. The NL Central looks pretty similar, though the NL West could get better – but nobody, nobody, is doing what the NL East is doing.