2:40pm: Corbin is evidently nearing agreement, as Morosi tweets that a signing is “imminent.” He’s said to be lining up a six-year deal, though it’s not yet clear with what team.
With the Yankees only putting five years on the table, it seems they aren’t going to get the lefty, Morosi adds on Twitter.
10:55am: There’s still no marked movement on the bidding for free agent lefty Patrick Corbin, but we’re continuing to see indications that the action is building to a crescendo. With interest spiking in the top open-market hurler, Bob Nightengale of USA Today cites multiple league sources for the proposition that Corbin is expected to meet or exceed the contract value that Yu Darvish achieved last winter (Twitter link).
That level of payday is just what MLBTR predicted in ranking Corbin as the third-best free agent on this year’s market. At the time, that seemed a rather aggressive estimation of his value. More recently, though, some have wondered whether Corbin might not drive well past the Darvish deal (six years, $126MM).
How high the bidding will go remains to be seen. Indeed, it’s not yet fully clear whether Corbin will actually top Darvish, even if he can. Nightengale suggests it’s possible that Corbin might be asked to “take a discount” to end up with the Yankees, who could be looking to get the life-long fan of the Bronx Bombers to sign for less.
The precise strategy of the Yankees isn’t entirely clear; certainly, the organization could boost its bid if Corbin demands it and there’s a bigger offer on the table. Regardless, MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand notes on Twitter that the Yankees are still locked in on Corbin, though he reminds that they’ve also engaged in secondary targets. That more or less mirrors what GM Brian Cashman stated on the record last night.
If Corbin currently sits atop the New York priority list, it seems the same is true of the Phillies, as Scott Lauber of the Philadelphia Inquirer tweets. Indeed, some “rivals speculate” that the Phillies are the favorite, Andy Martino of SNY.tv tweets, though perhaps that can be said of most any of the team’s free agent targets this winter given its ample spending capacity and clear imperative to win. As Nightengale adds on Twitter, the Phillies seem to have made it clear to Corbin that they’ll top the rest of the market to get him.
Meanwhile, Nationals president of baseball operations Mike Rizzo offered plenty of his own indications of strong interest in Corbin, as MLB.com’s Jamal Collier was among those to report. “He’s a guy that obviously we’re interested in and would fit nicely on this team,” says Rizzo, who made clear that the club still has a somewhat traditional view of the value of rotation assets. “Starting pitching is king,” Rizzo says, leaving little doubt that the Nats are prime players for Corbin and other top arms.