December 7, 2018 / 8:39 PM / 6 days ago

Corbin says Nationals were best fit

The Washington Nationals officially agreed to terms on a six-year, $140 million contract with All-Star left-handed pitcher Patrick Corbin and unveiled him at a press conference on Friday.

FILE PHOTO: Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Patrick Corbin reacts after he gave up a home run to New York Mets batter Anthony Recker in the fifth inning of their MLB National League game at CitiField in New York, July 2, 2013. REUTERS/Ray Stubblebine

“We’ve always said that starting pitching is the driver. As the top free agent pitcher on the market this offseason, we targeted Patrick from the onset,” Nationals president of baseball operations and general manager Mike Rizzo in a statement. “He was one of the top pitchers in the National League in 2018 and at 29 years old, we believe the best is yet to come. We are thrilled to bring him into our organization.”

Corbin went 11-7 with a 3.15 ERA during an All-Star campaign for the Arizona Diamondbacks last season. He set a career high for strikeouts with 246 and reached 200 innings for the second time in his career.

During the press conference, Corbin noted that the recent signings of catchers Yan Gomes and Kurt Suzuki factored into his decision.

“That’s a huge part. Signing Gomes and Suzuki,” he said. “I’ve gotten to watch them over the last couple of years and it’s just a big part of the game.”

Corbin also considered the New York Yankees and Philadelphia Phillies before deciding Washington was the proper destination.

“I just feel like this is the best fit,” Corbin said. “To be able to come in here and compete for a championship and be a part of something special.”

Corbin also was an All-Star in 2013 when he went 14-8 with a 3.41 ERA. He injured his pitching arm in spring training the following season and underwent Tommy John surgery. He missed all of 2014 and half of the 2015 season.

Corbin struggled in 2016 — he went 5-13 with a 5.15 ERA — before bouncing back to match his career highs for wins in 2017. He went 14-13 with a 4.03 ERA that season.

Overall, Corbin is 56-54 with 3.91 ERA in 172 career appearances (154 starts).

Nats pitchers Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg were present at the press conference announcing Corbin, where Rizzo also noted the deal was “independent” of any moves with their own free agent, outfielder Bryce Harper.

—Field Level Media

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