Back in April, Patrick Corbin spoke about the possibility of one day pitching for his childhood team, the Yankees. Now set to hit free agency, the Yanks are expected to make the 29-year-old left-hander their No. 1 offseason priority.
In what could be considered one of the worst kept secrets in baseball during the 2018 season, Jon Heyman of Fancred Sports writes that the Yankees are expected to target Diamondbacks free agent starter, Patrick Corbin, this winter.
The Syracuse-native, who’s been a longtime target of Yankee general manager Brian Cashman is coming off an All-Star campaign that saw him go 11-7 with a 3.15 ERA, 1.050 WHIP, .218 BAA and 246:48 K:BB ratio across 200 injury-free innings.
A Tommy John survivor, Corbin missed the entire 2014 season recovering from the career-threatening surgery. However, since then, Corbin has relied more on his slider (40 percent of the time) — turning himself into a legitimate strikeout pitcher (third-most in the NL this season).
Opponents swung and missed 54.2 percent of the time on his slider.
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Though it’s almost a lock that Arizona will offer Corbin a one-year, $17.9 million qualifying offer (which no longer comes attached to a first-round draft pick), he’ll almost assuredly turn it down. Entering his age-30 season, Corbin is expected to command a four or five-year deal somewhere in the neighborhood of $75 million.
Due to the Yankees staying below the $197 million threshold in 2018, reinforcing the starting rotation with the best available arms this winter shouldn’t be an issue. Considering Corbin spoke in-season about his potential excitement of pitching for the Yankees, signing the left-hander should be a slam dunk.
No one is sure which Yankee free-agents-to-be will return, including starters J.A. Happ, C.C. Sabathia and Lance Lynn. However, of the three, Happ offers the most upside, considering he was 7-0 with a 2.69 ERA in 11 starts following his arrival from Toronto.
This season, the Yankees’ 4.05 team ERA ranked 14th in baseball. Only the A’s, ranked at 17th were worse regarding playoff teams.
Considering Corbin only received 3.78 runs per nine innings this season from the D’backs, his 0.68 HR/9, 2.16 BB/9 and 0.99 WHIP versus right-handed batters should play exceptionally well at Yankee Stadium and be an optimal No. 2 to ease some of the pressure off Luis Severino.