Patrick Corbin to Nationals: Nathan Eovaldi market about to heat up?


Patrick Corbin, who was considered the best starting pitcher on the MLB free-agent market, has agreed with the Washington Nationals on a six-year contract worth $140 million.

Corbin spent the last six seasons with the Arizona Diamondbacks. The 29-year-old left-hander posted an 11-7 record with a 3.15 ERA in 2018.

This development impacts the Boston Red Sox in a few ways.

For starters, Corbin did not go to the New York Yankees, who reportedly were interested in signing him and offered a five-year contract. The Yankees' lack of quality pitching was among the reasons why the Sox beat them in the ALDS in October, and it's an area New York still needs to upgrade despite trading for Seattle Mariners starter James Paxton last month.

Corbin coming off the market should also shift a lot of the free-agent focus onto Nathan Eovaldi, who along with Dallas Keuchel is among the best starters still unsigned. 

Many teams have been rumored to be interested in signing Eovaldi, including the Yankees, Philadelphia Phillies, San Diego Padres and Houston Astros. The Red Sox would love to keep Eovaldi, but the competition for his services could be fierce. There aren't many really good starters on the free-agent market, and a lot of teams need to improve their pitching. This is a good scenario for Eovaldi and his chances of receiving a lucrative contract, especially after Corbin set the market with a gigantic $140 million deal.

While the Yankees are a serious competitor in signing Eovaldi, the Red Sox appear to have the advantage according to Joel Sherman of The New York Post.

"The Yanks appear hesitant to reunite with Eovaldi if he really is going to get a four-year contract, even if it is from the Red Sox, the team that beat them in the AL East and the Division Series," Sherman writes.

Eovaldi was 6-7 with a 3.81 ERA in 22 appearances (21 starts) between the Red Sox and Tampa Bay Rays during the 2018 regular season. He was much better in the postseason, where he went 2-1 with a 1.61 ERA in six appearances during Boston's 2018 World Series championship run.

The MLB Winter Meetings begin Sunday in Las Vegas, where a lot of free-agent action is expected to go down.

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