The Washington Nationals agreed to terms on a six-year contract with All-Star left-handed pitcher Patrick Corbin on Friday. Nationals President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Mike Rizzo made the announcement.
Corbin, 29, joins the Nationals after going 11-7 with a 3.15 ERA and 246 strikeouts in 33 starts for the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2018. He set career marks in nearly every category in his sixth professional season, including ERA, strikeouts, games started, innings pitched (200.0), WHIP (1.05), hits allowed per nine innings (7.29), home runs allowed per nine innings (0.68), strikeouts per nine innings (11.07) and strikeout-to-walk ratio (5.13).
A two-time All-Star (2013, 2018), Corbin finished fifth in the National League Cy Young Award voting in 2018 after ranking in the top five in the National League in home runs per nine innings (2nd, 0.68), strikeouts per nine innings (3rd, 11.07), strikeouts (3rd, 246), strikeout-to-walk ratio (3rd, 5.13), opponent on-base percentage (4th, .270), WHIP (4th, 1.05) and opponent OPS (5th, .607).
“We are excited to welcome Patrick and his wife Jen to the Washington Nationals organization,” said Washington Nationals Managing Principal Owner and Vice Chairman Mark D. Lerner. “We’ve known Patrick to be a great competitor from across the diamond throughout his young career, but in getting to know him through this process, we know he will be a tremendous asset both on the field and off.”
In 2018, Corbin became just the fifth left-handed pitcher since 1990 (10th season overall) to record a season with at least 200.0 innings, 200 strikeouts and fewer than 15 home runs allowed.
Corbin led Major League Baseball with a 34.6% swing and miss rate, according to Stats LLC., and according to FanGraphs.com, he ranked behind only Max Scherzer with a 15.6% swinging strike rate. He trailed only Scherzer in the National League with 54 three-pitch strikeouts and 211 strikeouts swinging.
“We’ve always said that starting pitching is the driver. As the top free agent pitcher on the market this offseason, we targeted Patrick from the onset,” Nationals President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Mike Rizzo said. “He was one of the top pitchers in the National League in 2018 and at 29 years old, we believe the best is yet to come. We are thrilled to bring him into our organization.”
Corbin limited right-handed batters to a .324 slugging percentage, the lowest mark by a left-handed pitcher in the National League. His .259 opp. on-base percentage and .213 opponent batting average against righties were both good for second-lowest in the National League.
In six seasons with the Arizona Diamondbacks, Corbin went 56-54 with a 3.91 ERA in 172 games (154 starts). He ranks third in Diamondbacks history in starts, strikeouts (897) and innings pitched (945.2). His 56 wins are good for fourth in the club’s history.
Corbin was selected by the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in the second round of the 2009 First-Year Player Draft out of Chipola (FL) Junior College. He was acquired by the Diamondbacks on July 25, 2010.