The 29-year-old Corbin made the National League All-Star team last season, going 11-7 with a 3.15 ERA, and reached 200 innings pitched for the second time in his career. He also set a career high with 246 strikeouts and made his first-career Opening Day start for the D-backs. This new major deal makes the Nationals the second team with three pitchers holding contracts worth over $100 million. The Chicago Cubs are the only other team taking that rout.
The Nationals felt the need to go down this road after their starting rotation took a fall after an impressive 2017 season. The Nats' rotation had the fourth-best ERA at 3.63 in 2017, but they dropped to 13th in 2018 at 4.03. They did lose Strasburg to off and on injuries, while the back end of their rotation struggled to be consistent. The addition of Corbin on Tuesday improved their World Series odds from 20-1 to 12-1.
Corbin's deal is the second-highest in Nationals' history, only behind Scherzer's seven-year contract, which could be why he chose them over the New York Yankees and Philadelphia Phillies. According to MLB sources, the Yankees refused to offer anything more than a five-year deal. This deal helps the Nats improve their battery as a whole, as they have also added catchers Yan Gomes and Kurt Suzuki behind the plate.