Patrick Corbin is touring the East Coast
The biggest names on the free agent market this winter are a pair of young superstar position players, but in terms of starting pitchers the top free agent is definitely Patrick Corbin. The former Diamondback is looking at a big payday coming off a breakout year in 2018, and a number of the teams expected to be the big players this weekend are showing interest. Corbin is in a position in which he can go around and see what each situation can offer him and really take his time with this big decision, and he’s clearly doing that. Right now, he is on a mini tour of the East Coast. According to various reports, he has already visited Philadelphia and Washington, with New York next on the docket. The Red Sox do need a starting pitcher, but there is virtually no chance they are going to be looking at this portion of the market. Corbin is expected to receive the biggest contract of any starting pitcher this year and could potentially get six years on his deal. The big thing for Boston fans to watch is whether or not he lands in New York. The Yankees already acquired James Paxton to join Luis Severino atop their rotation and are looking for more. I think I’m a bit lower on Corbin than most, but if he was a number three behind Severino and Paxton with Masahiro Tanaka right there with them, that’s potentially a very scary rotation.
Tony Clark gets three-year extension as head of Players Union
I think it’s safe to say that nobody wants to see a repeat of last offseason, except for maybe ownership. Even they would probably like a brisker pace and a little more action after last year’s snoozefest, which occurred for a number of reasons. That slow pace and the lower contracts being handed out, particularly to older players, led to a lot of scrutiny over the CBA and particularly how terribly the Players Union negotiated for it. That, in turn, led to some speculation that Tony Clark would be replaced as the head of the MLBPA before the next CBA ran out after the 2021 season. Well, so much for that. Clark has been signed to a three-year extension that will carry him through at least that negotiation. I have some thoughts on this but I’ll mostly keep them to myself. All I’ll say is they better hope this works out better than last time.
Athletics unveil potential new ballpark plans
One of the constant questions in the major leagues for a long time now has been when the Athletics are finally going to get a new stadium. The Coliseum is famously, to be frank, a dump and the A’s are in too nice of an area and too historic of a team to be playing in a place like that. There are no guarantees that a new park is coming, but the team has at least announced some concrete plans. You can see the details here. As they say in the linked post, there are still a lot of things that need to happen to make this a reality. That being said, it looks really nice!