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 postseason has a knack for finding unlikely heroes. Nationals catcher Kurt Suzuki was 1-for-23 in the postseason entering Wednesday’s Game 2 of the World Series. The Nats and Astros each plated two runs in the first inning, then went otherwise scoreless through the sixth inning. In the top of the seventh, with Justin Verlander returning to the mound, Suzuki demolished a high, 1-0 fastball just below the train tracks in left field at Minute Maid Park, breaking the 2-2 tie.
Verlander proceeded to walk Victor Robles, prompting manager A.J. Hinch to take his veteran starter out of the game. Ryan Pressly came in to attempt to keep it a one-run game.
The underdog Nationals held on to defeat the Astros 5-4 in Game 1. Another victory by the Nats in Game 2 would put the Astros — heavy favorites according to oddsmakers — in a big hole.
Update: Pressly walked the first batter he faced, Trea Turner. Adam Eaton successfully sacrifice bunted both runners over. After Anthony Rendon flied out to shallow center field, Hinch decided to issue his team’s first intentional walk of the entire year to Juan Soto, loading the bases. Howie Kendrick then hit what appeared to be an inning-ending ground out, but Alex Bregman booted the ball as he moved to his left. Turner scored to make it 4-2. The floodgates opened when Asdrúbal Cabrera lined a single to center field, bringing home two more runs to pad the lead to 6-2. While pitching to Ryan Zimmerman, Pressly uncorked a wild pitch to allow the two base runners to advance. Zimmerman followed up with a slow roller down the third base line which Bregman barehanded and proceeded to throw away. Two more runs scored. 8-2. Yiiiikes, Astros.