MLB

MLB Weekly Digest December 10th Edition

Image Credit: Sporting News

The last week in MLB was about a team in the National League upgrading their rotation, an elite first baseman getting traded, a starting pitcher in the American League signs a multi-year contract and another AL starter inks a multi-year extension

Washington Nationals Sign Starting Pitcher Patrick Corbin to Six-Year-Deal

The Washington Nationals upgraded their starting rotation in a major way as they signed starting pitcher Patrick Corbin to a six-year, $140 million deal, per Jon Heyman of Fancred.

Corbin was the marquee free-agent starter available on the market, and it’s surprising the Nationals were able to sign him.

The deal for Corbin will include deferred money, per Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic.

The New Yankees were expected to sign the left-hander as Corbin grew up in New York and the Yankees certainly need a starter like Corbin.

A reason the Yankees didn’t get Corbin is their unwillingness to offer him a contract for six years, per Heyman.

The Nats have a dominating trio at the top of their rotation with Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg, and Corbin.

Corbin was stellar for the Diamondbacks last season as he compiled a 3.15 ERA in 200 innings with 246 strikeouts, 15 home runs yielded, 48 walks issued, a 137 ERA+, a 2.47 FIP a 1.05 WHIP, an NL All-Star and finished fifth in the Cy Young vote.

Corbin had a wipe-out slider and was very effective using it last season, by recording 195 strikeouts on his slider, 71 more than anyone else in the majors, per ESPN Stats & Info.

The Nats have invested a whopping $525 million in the top three arms of their rotation, per Bob Nightengale of USA Today.

Scherzer has three years remaining on his $210 million contract, Strasburg has five years left on $175 million deal and now Corbin with six.

The key part to remember is the Nats won’t be done paying once the contracts are finished as each deal has deferred money.

The Nationals have a formidable trio in the rotation, but it remains to be seen if the addition of Corbin will help them get back to the postseason.

Arizona Diamondbacks Trade First Baseman Paul Goldschmidt to St. Louis Cardinals 

The Arizona Diamondbacks made a painful decision as they traded the face of their franchise, who is first baseman Paul Goldschmidt to the St. Louis Cardinals early last week.

The Diamondbacks received catcher Carson Kelly, pitcher Luke Weaver, infielder Andrew Young, and a 2019 Competitive Balance Round B draft pick.

The Diamondbacks are coming off a disappointing 2018 campaign in which they faltered during the final month of the season.

The Diamondbacks entered the offseason knowing they would have to make some tough decisions and trading Goldschmidt wasn’t easy, but it had to be done.

The team did discuss a contract extension with Goldschmidt before the trade, but couldn’t reach an agreement, per Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic.

They received solid talent in this deal as Weaver is a young pitcher with five years of control, Kelly has high upside as he’s solid with the glove and Young, who finished fifth in the Arizona Fall League with a .936 OPS is someone who can play all infield positions and gets on base frequently.

The major aspect of the deal for the Diamondbacks is adding Kelly.

They’ve struggled for several years to develop catchers, so adding Kelly was significant.

The Diamondbacks will be in rebuild mode next year, but the good news is they have seven of the first 70 draft picks in 2019, per Bob Nightengale of USA Today.

The Cardinals are receiving one of the best hitters in the National League.

Goldschmidt accumulated a .290 batting average and .922 OPS with 35 doubles, 33 home runs, and 83 RBIs.

In 2018, Goldschmidt was struggling somewhat as he had a .198 batting average and .675 OPS on May 22nd, but by August 22nd he raised his batting average to .297, and his OPS was .957.

Over the final 100 games of the 2018 season, Goldschmidt was on fire as he posted a .334 average and 1.031 OPS with 25 home runs, 26 doubles, 63 RBIs and tallied 128 hits, per MLB Stats.

The first baseman is a six-time All-Star, three-time Gold Glove winner, four-time Silver Slugger and has finished top three in the NL MVP three times.

Goldschmidt is a special hitter, and for someone, his size is deceptively fast, as he has swiped 124 bases in his eight-year career.

Over the past five seasons, Goldschmidt ranks fifth in MLB in fWAR, fifth in wRC+, third in on-base percentage, eighth in slugging percentage and eighth in walk rate, per Andrew Simon of MLB.com.

Goldschmidt has been an elite hitter among first basemen since 2012, as he ranks first in home runs (198), RBIs (677), hits (1,135) and extra-base hits (474), per MLB Stats.

Goldschmidt did spend his first eight seasons in hitter-friendly Chase Field, but making the transition to a new ballpark won’t be an issue.

He ranked second in MLB last season in with a .339 average, .638 slugging percentage, and 1.053 OPS while ranking first in hits with 104 on the road, per ESPN Stats & Info.

The Cardinals have been seeking to add a big bat like Goldschmidt in their lineup, and it’s at a bargain as well.

Goldschmidt will make $14.5 million in 2019 and become a free agent next year.

The Cardinals have spoken to Manny Machado and Bryce Harper this offseason, but the addition of Goldschmidt takes them out of the sweepstakes for either player.

It’s good for the Cardinals, as it would cost them more than double the salary for Goldschmidt to sign either Harper or Machado.

The Cardinals will have a dangerous lineup featuring Matt Carpenter who moves over to third base, outfielder Marcell Ozuna, catcher Yadier Molina, and Goldschmidt.

This trade worked out for both clubs, as the Cardinals get a big bat they haven’t had since Albert Pujols and the Diamondbacks acquire young pieces to help them in the future.

Boston Red Sox Sign Nathan Eovaldi to Four-Year Deal

The Boston Red Sox have signed starting pitcher Nathan Eovaldi to a four-year, $67.5 million deal, per Mark Feinsand of MLB.com.

Eovaldi was superb in 2018, by compiling a 3.81 ERA in 111 innings pitched (21 starts) as he split time between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Red Sox.

He posted a 3.33 ERA in 54 innings pitched with 48 strikeouts in Boston.

He kicked things onto another gear in the postseason.

The right-hander accumulated a 1.61 ERA in 22 1/3 innings pitched with 16 strikeouts, one home run allowed and a 0.81 WHIP in the playoffs.

Eovaldi threw 26 pitches which reached 100+ mph in October, no other pitcher had half that amount, per MLB Stats.

He played a significant role in the Red Sox winning the World Series and received a very good contract for his performance.

A major question going into the offseason was could the Red Sox re-sign Eovaldi and that question has been answered.

Cleveland Indians Sign Starting Pitcher Carlos Carrasco to Three-Year Extension

The Cleveland Indians have signed starting pitcher Carlos Carrasco to a three-year extension, per Bob Nightengale of USA Today.

Carrasco will make $9.75 million in 2019, $10.25 million in 2020, $12 million in 2021 and 2022, and there’s a $14 million club option or $3 million buyout in 2023, per Zack Meisel of The Athletic.

Carrasco was brilliant with the Indians last year as he compiled a 3.38 ERA in 192 innings (30 starts) with 231 strikeouts, 43 walks issued, 21 home runs allowed, a 129 ERA +, a 2.94 FIP and a 1.12 WHIP.

The right-hander for the second consecutive year tossed at least 190 innings pitched, made 30 or more starts and struck out at least 220 batters.

Carrasco has been a stellar starter in the American League for the past couple of seasons, and though, the deal he signed was below market value, making the most money isn’t a priority.

According to Meisel, Carrasco mentioned, “I want to finish my career with the Indians.”

If Carrasco continues to author seasons like 2017 and 2018, he’ll likely end his career with the Indians.

Author Profile

Chris Lacey
Chris is a 25-year old New Jersey native whose favorite sports team is the Arizona Diamondbacks. He previously attended Western New England College to study Sports Management. Chris has been following the Diamondbacks since he was 12. You can find him on Twitter [email protected]
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