Patrick Corbin signs six-year deal with Nationals
The big news in the baseball world on Tuesday was Patrick Corbin landing in Washington on a big six-year deal. We had heard earlier in the week that a deal was likely coming soon, but it was down to three finalists in Washington, Philadelphia and New York. In the end, the Nationals won the bidding with a six-year, $140 million contract. I said this yesterday, but I’d still be a bit wary of giving Corbin a six-year deal. There’s definitely talent there, don’t get me wrong, and there’s nothing indicating his breakout 2018 was a fluke. I’m just not super comfortable handing out that long-term of a deal for a guy with one good season. The Red Sox were never in on Corbin, but that doesn’t mean this deal doesn’t affect them. For one thing, the Yankees were the heavy favorites for the lefty before this deal happened, so now they are left scrambling a bit. They did, however, trade for James Paxton earlier in the winter so that helped matters. It also should get the starting pitching market moving a little more quickly. The Red Sox are rumored to be going hard after Nathan Eovaldi, and with Corbin off the board Eovaldi could be next. Keep your eyes and ears open.
Robinson Chirinos signs one-year deal in Houston
Corbin was the big signing on Tuesday, but there were a couple of lower-tier signings as well. One was down in Texas with catcher Robinson Chirinos changing uniforms but staying in the same state he’s played in his entire career. The former Ranger backstop inked a one-year deal with the Astros. This is an interesting deal involving one of Boston’s biggest rivals in the American League. The Astros lost both Brian McCann and Martin Maldonado this winter, so catching was a definite need. Chirinos isn’t a star by any means, but he’s a solid catcher with rare power for the position, and he’ll help keep that lineup dangerous. I’ve never believed the Red Sox are going to look outside the organization for catching help, but if they were going to Chirinos would have been a good, cheap option to upgrade the position offensively.
Diamondbacks agree to two-year deal with Merrill Kelly
The final free agent deal of the day may just be the most interesting, with the Diamondbacks agreeing to a two-year deal with a pitcher most of us had never heard of. I’ll freely admit I was one of them. Arizona signed pitcher Merrill Kelly to a two-year, $5.5 million deal. Kelly was drafted by the Rays back in 2010, and despite putting up solid minor-league numbers he never got a chance in the majors. So, after the 2014 season he went and pitched in Korea. Overseas, the 30-year-old has improved his strikeout numbers and just generally pitched well against KBO competition. Teams were intrigued enough to give him a major-league deal, and Arizona got him on a multi-year deal. I’m really interested to see how this one turns out.