Since spring training, what plans Arizona Diamondbacks starter Patrick Corbin has for next year has been one of the big questions surrounding soon-to-be free agents. While he doesn’t get the press of Bryce Harper or Manny Machado, there is no denying he is one of the top free agent pitchers on the market this winter, possibly surpassed only by Clayton Kershaw if he opts out of his current deal. Since April, there have been indications that Corbin may have the Yankees as one of his top new destinations, if not the primary landing spot.
The Yankees have a few things in play that are attractive to Corbin, according to Buster Olney at ESPN. The Yankees are in the postseason almost every year which is high on Corbin’s wish list, but along with that, they have the kind of money and upcoming payroll flexibility to make changing hats worth his while. One of the big things Olney discusses is that Corbin is not only a native New Yorker, but he is also a life-long Yankee fan, and if all things are equal when he begins fielding offers, that is a card the Yankees could throw down to play.
Patrick Corbin is no question one of it not the main #Yankees target this offseason. I've been asked that question a lot and I've been saying the same thing since this offseason.— The Simonetti Source (@SimonettiSource) September 14, 2018
By staying under the luxury tax cap this year, the Yankees enter this winter with the kind of payroll flexibility that can allow two, or potentially three big signings. While Bryce Harper’s name comes up in discussion regularly, it is thought the Yankees will pass on him as they are already well set in the outfield, and focus on Manny Machado, who has also expressed his interest in being a Yankee, as reported at the Inquisitr. If that plays out the way a lot of analysts think it will, the Yankees will have plenty of room to sign Corbin.
Corbin makes sense for the Yankees, according to NJ Advance Media, because they need a dependable, lights out, type of ace. They say that without slighting Luis Severino, but as has been seen this year comparing his first and second half splits, Severino has had great ups and terrible downs. C.C. Sabathia is a question mark on returning next year, even though he has expressed interest in doing so. J.A. Happ has won regularly as a Yankee but isn’t an ace, nor is Masahiro Tanaka. Justus Sheffield is thought to be a year away from making a season-long impact. None are pitching to the level Corbin has this season, per ESPN.
“He has a staggering 230 strikeouts in 186 innings, and only 42 walks and 14 homers allowed, with a 3.05 ERA. Corbin is a native New Yorker and grew up a Yankees fan, and given the Yankees’ needs and their improved payroll flexibility for 2019, many evaluators assume it’s more likely than not that the 29-year-old Corbin will land in the Bronx.”
Sources, Patrick Corbin has expressed serious interest in signing with the #Yankees in the offseason and are his top team when he becomes a FA, obviously he and the Yankees have been linked in the past. The Yanks are desperate for SP so I expect them to go hard for him. #Corbin— Yankees.Source ™ (@NYYTalks) September 14, 2018
While all indications are that all the Yankees have to do is be close enough on the money to land Corbin, only time will tell what Yankee GM Brian Cashman has in mind. Cashman has not commented on Corbin this year, but that doesn’t mean that interest isn’t there. For a guy that wants to win and a team that needs an ace, it seems like a logical fit.