On Tuesday, the Phillies welcomed free agent starter Patrick Corbin in for a visit. At the time, it felt special. The Phils were the first team to bring him in and they even went to all the trouble to superimpose his head and body into a Phillies uniform on the big screen at Citizens Bank Park.
But here’s the thing. The Phillies apparently let him leave. That could be their great undoing.
And they even stole our idea.
Until Tuesday, no team had ever thought to put their hat and jersey on a player who had yet to sign. Never ever. Never had been done before, the Phillies invented it and the Yankees copied us.
It’s just not fair.
What is apparent is that the Phillies are serious about adding Corbin to a rotation that would present a dominant duo with he and Aaron Nola at the top of it. But if the Phils are going to land him, they’re going to have to outbid the Yankees (and sure, the Nats) in order to get him.
And they’re going to have to give him more years than you’re probably comfortable with.
Yu Darvish got a six-year, $126 million deal last year. The Phillies gave Cole Hamels a six-year, $144 million deal in 2012.
A six-year deal seems like a lock, and you could be looking at upwards of $160 million in order to sign the 29-year-old, who had a breakout season for the Diamondbacks last year. But is a six-year deal simply too many years to commit to Corbin, or really any starting pitcher?
I asked this question on Twitter, and the responses have essentially been split right down the middle. If you haven’t voted yet and are able to, you can add your voice into the mix.
Should the Phillies offer a 6 year contract to Patrick Corbin?— John Stolnis (@JohnStolnis) November 29, 2018
Prior to last year, Corbin had a 4.12 ERA, a 1.348 WHIP, a 3.96 FIP and struck 7.9 K/9. Last year, with the addition of a slower slider that he mixed with a harder, wipe-out slider, he posted a 3.15 ERA, 1.050 WHIP, 2.47 FIP and 11.1 K/9.
Corbin threw the second-most sliders of any pitcher in baseball last year and opponents hit just .145 off the pitch. On this week’s episode of Hittin’ Season, Philly.com’s Matt Breen said Corbin isn’t like most 29-30 years olds who hit the market with a ton of innings already on his arm (approx 9:49 mark).
The bottom line is, if you’re willing to give Corbin a five-year deal, a sixth year should not be an obstacle to getting the deal done. It’s just one more year. But if you don’t think the Phillies should go more than 3-4 years, than 6 years is certainly a bridge too far.
The Phils’ rotation is probably good enough that, if you they signed J.A. Happ or Charlie Morton to a 2-3 year deal, that would be a significant help to the rotation. But adding Corbin gives the team another ace, and would also get the city buzzing about the Phillies again.
So, if you want Corbin, it’s going to be a six-year deal. Are you OK with that?