The Nationals have signed free agent starter Patrick Corbin to a six-year contract, Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post reports. Fancred’s Jon Heyman reports that the total value of the contract is $140 million. The Phillies and Yankees were also in heavy pursuit of the lefty.
Corbin, 29, had the best season of his career in 2018, going 11-7 with a 3.15 ERA and a 246/48 K/BB ratio in 200 innings. Across his six-year career, he owns a 3.91 ERA and an adjusted ERA (ERA+) of 109 (100 is average).
As Corbin rejected a qualifying offer, the D-Backs will receive a compensatory pick at the end of the first round in the 2019 draft. The Nationals will forfeit their second- and fifth-highest picks as well as $1 million from their international bonus pool.
Corbin will slot into the Nationals’ rotation behind Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg. This certainly makes the NL East even more interesting. The Braves have already done some upgrading, signing Josh Donaldson and Brian McCann. The Phillies just acquired Jean Segura from the Mariners and are expected to be big players for Manny Machado and/or Bryce Harper. The Mets just added Robinson Canó and Edwin Díaz. The NL East could be the best division in baseball in 2019.
The Mariners are in the midst of reconstructing their roster, a process which most recently resulted in the trade of first baseman/DH Edwin Encarnación to the Yankees, per a report from ESPN’s Jeff Passan. While the teams have yet to publicly confirm the deal, the Mariners are expected to receive pitching prospect Juan Then and will likely eat a significant portion of Encarnación’s salary as well.
Encarnación is a sizable get for the Yankees, who could benefit from the veteran’s power and consistency in their ongoing drive toward the postseason. The 36-year-old infielder missed some time with a bout of lower back tightness, dental issues, and soreness in his left hand, but has still maintained a decent .241/.356/.531 batting line with an AL-best 21 home runs, an .888 OPS, and 1.7 fWAR through his first 289 plate appearances of the year. Per Mark Feinsand of MLB.com, Encarnación has another $11-12 million left on his contract in 2019, with a $20 million option for the 2020 season and a $5 million buyout.
Then, 19, was acquired by the Yankees in a three-person trade with the Mariners during the 2017 offseason. The right-hander currently ranks no. 27 in the Yankees’ system and made his last pro ball appearance for New York’s rookie-level affiliate in 2018, pitching to a 2.70 ERA, 2.0 BB/9, and 7.6 SO/9 across 50 innings. It’s not clear if any other players are involved in the trade, though USA Today’s Bob Nightengale notes that no other prospects are thought to be included in the package for Encarnación.