Major League Baseball hot stove: Nationals sign free-agent starter Patrick Corbin, report says

Bryce Harper

The first domino in the pitching free agent market has fallen, and now it's time for many other pieces to fall into place.

Corbin reportedly met with the Phillies on Tuesday.

Corbin is coming off a career year in 2018 when he went 11-7 with a 3.15 ERA and struck out 246 in 200 innings. By promising him a sixth season, the Nationals convinced Corbin to pass on those other clubs and head to the nation's capital.

With the Winter Meetings coming next week and numerous offseason milestones behind us, the free agent logjam was destined to break at any second, and perhaps it just has: Patrick Corbin is reportedly signing with the Washington Nationals.

According to Fancred Sports, the deal is expected to be in the six-year, $140 million range. They each had successful second-half campaigns when they were each traded within the AL East, and Eovaldi delivered gutsy performances for the Red Sox throughout the postseason.

Lance Lynn is another option for the Yankees, though he wasn't almost as good as Happ or Eovaldi in 2018.

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Ranger Suarez isn't, and may not ever be, ready to be a guy who can take the ball every five days and turn out quality starts.

But sometimes, it's just a little something extra that makes all the difference in these negotiations, and for Corbin it the 6th year that only Washington was willing to offer. Strasburg is averaging less than 25 starts per season over the last four years.

It must be nice to be free-agent pitcher Nathan Eovaldi right now.

And we haven't even discussed whether the Yankees' failed pursuit of Corbin will result in them going hard after either Bryce Harper or Manny Machado, two offensive superstars who would make New York's already daunting lineup even scarier.

Dallas Keuchel could be a solid option for the Sox to sign. He was one of Boston's World Series heroes after he pitched scoreless innings in Games 1 and 2 and then threw six late innings in a Game 3 that would become the longest game in World Series history.

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