Athletics

Athletics

Patrick Corbin probably won't be signing with Oakland, but his contract should still be of interest to A's fans.

The 29-year-old left-hander is arguably the top pitcher available in free agency, meaning his contract could set the market for everyone else.

Corbin dominated hitters in 2018, striking out 246 in 200 innings. He posted a 3.15 ERA and 1.05 WHIP despite pitching his home games at Chase Field in Arizona, known as a hitter's park.

Corbin is projected to get somewhere in the range of five years for $100 million. Fellow left-hander Dallas Keuchel is also expected to get that type of money. However, we won't know the exact market for starters until Corbin and Keuchel get their offers.

After the top two starters, there is a slight drop off to veterans like J.A. Happ, Charlie Morton, and Nathan Eovaldi. Their offers will also depend, at least in part, on Corbin's contract. There is then a trickle-down effect through the rest of the available free agent starting pitchers.

[ROSS: Did Nathan Eovaldi's playoff heroics put him out of A's price range?]

That means even if the A's don't sign Corbin, his contract could alter the price they pay for their own free agent targets. Oakland could conceivably pursue names like Wade Miley, Tyson Ross, and Clay Buchholz.

Of course, the A's have their own free agent starting pitchers to consider. Edwin Jackson, Trevor Cahill, and Brett Anderson were crucial to Oakland's success last season. Jackson and Cahill, in particular, significantly increased their value moving forward.

 

But it all starts at the top with Corbin. Stay tuned.

Editor's note: This week across the NBC Sports Regional Networks, we'll be taking an in-depth look at some of the top free agents in baseball. Thursday is dedicated to free agent pitcher Patrick Corbin.