Free agent starter Patrick Corbin met with the Phillies on Tuesday, Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia reported. Corbin met with the Nationals on Wednesday, per ESPN’s Buster Olney, and will meet with the Yankees on Thursday, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post.
Corbin, 29, is the top free agent pitcher on the market, so he’s likely in line to command a contract in excess of $100 million. The lefty this past season posted a 3.15 ERA with 246 strikeouts and 48 walks over exactly 200 innings of work. Over his six year career, Corbin has a 3.91 ERA. 2018 was his best of those six seasons, which is certainly good timing.
The Yankees have been linked to Corbin all offseason, even after acquiring southpaw James Paxton from the Mariners. The Phillies have been more so linked with position players Bryce Harper and Manny Machado, but they definitely have the financial muscle to woo Corbin to Philadelphia. Corbin is “high on the Nats’ wish list right now,” MASN’s Mark Zuckerman says.
The Yankees appear to have moved on from free agent Manny Machado this winter, but could they be turning their attention to Rockies superstar Nolan Arenado? That’s the idea floated by Andy Martino of SNY, who hears that GM Brian Cashman has been involved in recent discussions concerning the third baseman. No official comments have been made to the press yet, though, and it’s not clear whether the Yankees would prefer to pursue Arenado prior to the 2019 season or partway through it.
The 27-year-old infielder earned his fourth consecutive All-Star nomination, Silver Slugger, and Gold Glove award in 2018 after slashing .297/.374/.561 with 38 home runs, a .935 OPS, and 5.7 fWAR across 673 plate appearances. There’s no question he’s provided immense value to Colorado’s lineup over the last half-decade, and his consistency and incredible power at the plate helped form the basis of the record $30 million arbitration figure he presented to the team last week. The Rockies countered at $24 million, however, and in doing so may have jeopardized their chances of convincing the infielder to forego free agency in 2020 and take a long-term deal instead.
Assuming he declines to negotiate an extension with the Rockies, Arenado’s decorated résumé and career-best 2018 numbers should attract plenty of interest around the league — a reality that could put considerable pressure on the Yankees (or any other interested party) to finesse a deal sooner rather than later. For now, the club is prepared to enter the 2019 season with hot-hitting third baseman Miguel Andújar, whom Martino speculates would be the “centerpiece” of any trade with Colorado.