Southpaw starter Patrick Corbin, who had grown up a Yankees fan and was coming off a career season with the Arizona Diamondbacks, opted to take a six-year, $140 million deal with the Washington Nationals rather than sign with his hometown team.
Corbin, considered the best starting pitcher available this winter, has now set the market for everyone else. NY is also interested in bringing back J.A. Happ, who was the team's best starter in the second half of last season. The Phillies telling Corbin they won't be out-bid isn't surprising, especially after owner John Middleton's remarks to Nightengale in which he said they expect to be a "little stupid" about how they spend their money.
The Nationals edged out the Yankees and Phillies, who were also being considered by the 29-year-old lefty. Happ could be a safer, more cost-efficient signing who makes an impact, particularly against the Red Sox, while also giving the Yankees even more flexibility to address other areas of need. The Astros could pose the biggest threat to sign Eovaldi, a Houston native.
His signature moment came against the Yankees in Game 3 of the AL Division Series, as he dazzled the crowd in the Bronx with his triple-digit fastball over seven innings of one-run ball in Boston's 16-1 victory. He went 2-1 with two holds and a 1.61 ERA over 22.1 innings in the playoffs.
Corbin, arguably the best starting pitcher available on the free agent market, had always been linked to the Yankees, who entered this offseason in need of rotation reinforcements. Well, industry insiders and media types seem to think the Yankees can still find that other top-of-the-rotation arm on the open market, but with the winter meetings beginning on Sunday in Las Vegas, it would be premature to rule out Cashman pulling off another trade.
Nathan Eovaldi delivers a pitch for the Red Sox during the seventh inning of Game 1 of the World Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Fenway Park on October 23, 2018 in Boston.