ARE YOU READY FOR SOME PATRICK CORBIN?
By Sam Bush
The Nationals open camp this Wednesday, and everyone will be scoping out Patrick Corbin, the best free-agent starter available this winter.
He is coming off a career year in Arizona — 33 starts for a 3.15 ERA and 246 strikeouts in 200 innings, earning him a spot on the NL All-Star team and a fifth-place finish in the voting for the NL Cy Young Award.
It’s fair to wonder if the six-year, $140 million contract the Nationals signed Corbin to was a bit of an overpay, but it will be well worth it if the left-hander can form a dominant trio with Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg. They could form the best top of the rotation in club history.
Even though starting pitchers are throwing fewer innings than ever and teams are relying more heavily on bullpens, the Nats see the value in having starters they are comfortable extending a third and sometimes fourth turn through the batting order.
So, they targeted Corbin, 29, from the start of free agency and landed their prize.
Now each sharp slider he spins this spring might make those around the Nationals begin to picture a postseason rotation featuring those three aces.