You have your infielders, outfielders, starting staff and closers. The lead free agent in each of those categories is as follows: Manny Machado, Bryce Harper, Patrick Corbin, Craig Kimbrel. The first domino fell today and where it landed was a surprise.
From someone who attended Patrick Corbin’s recent wedding: “His younger brother gave a best-man speech and at the end took out a Yankees hat and put it on, which elicited a great applause, and said they all hoped that he and Jen would be moving closer to home.”
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) November 30, 2018
Every MLB Network predictor pegged the New York Yankees as Corbin’s new home but according to the rumour mill, the Nationals included an elusive 6th year to land the big fish. Without ever meeting Mr. Corbin and playing the role of conspiracy theorist, his open admiration for the Yankees did wonders for his contract negotiations.
While the Nats obtained one of the big four, one of their own is still on that list and looking for a contract that will ostensibly make Corbin’s contract look small. The face of the “make baseball fun again” movement, Harper reportedly turned down a $300M offer from the Nats to become a free agent. Is this a move to lure Mr. Harper back into the fold or a move signifying they are moving on without him.
With a Stephen Strasburg, Max Scherzer, and Corbin top-of-the-rotation the playoffs are not a far fetched idea especially with the Winter Meetings next week to continue to tweak the roster. Even before today’s move our Dylan Fry was proclaiming that the Nationals would build a better team without Harper.
As a baseball fan who spends most of his time watching NL West teams, this off-season has been all about the NL East (other than Jerry Dipoto‘s obsession with making trades over in Seattle). With the all due respect to the NL Central, Corbin coming to the East makes this the division in the National League to watch this upcoming season.
LET’S LOOK INTO THE CRYSTAL BALL
Here is a genuine hope that Harper signs with the Philadelphia Phillies to add straight fire to the NL East. The obvious jolt to the Nats-Phillies rivalry but one needs to remember there’s no love lost between Harper and the Mets. Please Mets, do not trade Noah Syndergaard! If for nothing else just for his perceived personal rivalry with Harper.
Dylan Fry predicts Machado will go the Mets and that Yasmani Grandal will go to the Texas Rangers. While I originally predicted Harper to the Cubs, our Joshua Berube still believes Kris Bryant will get his best buddy to go to Wrigley Field. Joshua also believes Machado is going to New York but to play for the Yanks not the Mets.