Major League Baseball hot stove: Nationals sign free-agent starter Patrick Corbin, report says

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While the deal does not necessarily preclude the team re-signing free agent outfielder Bryce Harper, the Nationals have now devoted a significant portion of their payroll elsewhere, especially if they plan to try to get back below the luxury tax line for the 2019 season.

The Philadelphia Phillies were expected to spend big this offseason in order to land the most coveted free agents on the market, but they have been beaten to the signing of Patrick Corbin by the Washington Nationals. High quality left-handed starting pitchers are tough to come by, but NY will now have to look elsewhere as they continue attempts to reinforce their pitching staff.

Add Patrick Corbin to the All-Star starting staff the Washington Nationals have assembled.

The fallout from this Corbin saga could see the Phillies make aggressive plays in the free agency market in the coming weeks.

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And all of it against an Arizona defense that surrendered 45 unanswered points in a 45-10 loss to the Chargers the previous week. General Manager Brian Gutekunst also will be heavily involved, along with a committee, though Murphy will make the decision.

Corbin's contract with the Nationals will reportedly be worth $140 million. But Corbin has missed time in the past due to needing Tommy John surgery.

The 29-year-old's decision marks the first major free agent signing of the young offseason. He missed all of the 2014 season and some of the 2015 season.

Adding a left-handed pitcher is one of the many things on Matt Klentak's to do list this offseason, and he's been vocal about making this move after the organization went almost two seasons without a start from a lefty. Jon Heyman of Fancred reported on Monday that the Phillies will consider Dallas Keuchel. Both are on that next tier of starting pitchers, and Keuchel has been linked to Cincinnati on a few occasions over the past week. Join the Southside Showdown team!

While I wouldn't expect his level of production to remain consistent through the entire contract, as long as he's healthy, he looks like a very safe option for a team that has one of the best rotations in the league already, headlined by Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg. However, they have several alternatives as they are reportedly considering J.A. Happ, Nathan Eovaldi and Lance Lynn because when they could not sign Corbin.

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