Most baseball executives have assumed Patrick Corbin was destined to sign with the Yankees this winter. The Phillies want to upset those predictions.
The combination of the Yankees desperate desire to upgrade their starting rotation and Patrick Corbin’s interest in returning home to pitch in the Bronx led most baseball observers to predict he’d ultimately don pinstripes this offseason.
The Phillies apparently didn’t get that memo. They are aggressively pushing for Corbin to commit his long-term future to Philadelphia before a bidding war can emerge.
The team’s interest in the talented lefty actually resulted in Corbin making a visit to Citizens Bank Park on Tuesday. The Phillies have made it very clear they expect to be big spenders this winter.
Swooping in and making a big deal for the top free agent pitcher on the market would certainly move them up the NL East ladder.
It’s a smart move by the Phillies to try to make a big, early move in free agency. As it pertains to Corbin, it might be the only way to keep him away from the Yankees.
New York clearly has interest in Corbin as well, but they may not be willing to meet his contract demands in terms of years and/or dollars. If the Phillies are willing to meet his terms early, he could sign with them before Brian Cashman and company have the chance to reconsider.
Signing Corbin early might also help the Phillies in their quest to sign other big name free agents over the next few months. They’ve been linked heavily with both Manny Machado and Bryce Harper.
Both premier free agents would be more inclined to sign with the Phillies if they proved they were willing to spend big to strengthen other positions first.
The most interesting question here is just how genuine Corbin’s interest in Philadelphia really is. It’s at least possible he may be using his trip to visit the Phillies as a way to exert pressure on the Yankees.
Even if his heart resides in the Bronx, it’s a smart business decision to make sure he gets the biggest contract possible from New York.
Phillies fans need to hope for a swift resolution to Corbin’s free agency tour. The longer he goes without a decision, the more the chances of him signing in Philadelphia start to decrease. It’s going to be an important 48 hours in the city of Brotherly Love.