Editor's note: Each day this week, Giants insider Alex Pavlovic and A's reporter Ben Ross will debate where one of the top five free agents might land this offseason. Friday's free agent to discuss is Patrick Corbin, a left-hander who had a career year at the perfect time and could be looking at the biggest deal for any pitcher this offseason.
ALEX: At some point, Patrick Corbin is going to sign a $100 million deal somewhere. When he does, he should send a nice catered meal -- or at least a couple dozen bags of Chick-fil-A -- to the Giants' spring clubhouse. They did more than anyone to help him get to this point.
Corbin faced the Giants six times last year, posting a 2.27 ERA and holding their hitters to a .176 average. Nearly 20 percent of his innings in his huge walk year were thrown against a bad Giants lineup, and he took full advantage. If you throw those Giants starts out, he had a 3.37 ERA. Good but not elite.
But good for him. They were on the schedule, and he dominated.
Here's the question: Do you really think he's the top guy on the market, or would you prefer Dallas Keuchel or Nathan Eovaldi?
BEN: I have to admit I hadn’t thought of it that way before! Maybe the Giants should sign him just to make sure they don’t have to face him again.
I still think Corbin is the top pitcher on the market. 246 strikeouts in 200 innings is impressive, to say the least. It seems like the Yankees are the favorites to land him. Where else might he end up?
ALEX: The Yankees are the favorites, for sure. It sounds like the Phillies are going to spend a ton of money this winter, and maybe they'll turn to pitching if they strike out on Bryce Harper and Manny Machado.
In your division, I think the Angels have to be in on all the pitchers, just to make sure they give Mike Trout a real shot at the postseason before his contract expires. And I wonder if the Astros will go big to make up for Keuchel and Charlie Morton being free agents and Lance McCullers having Tommy John. The Braves could use an ace, too, which is why they're a popular Madison Bumgarner destination. Corbin will have a robust market.
Am I missing anyone?
BEN: I think those are all realistic options. I think the Nationals will have some interest as well. Is there any chance he returns to Arizona? What about the Giants? Or are they done giving big money to free agent pitchers?
ALEX: They should be after giving out $220 million to two guys who are currently injured. Plus, the Andrew Friedman-Farhan Zaidi Dodgers tended to go for three-year deals for veteran pitchers, and Corbin is going to try to get twice that.
I don't see him back in Arizona, given all the talk there about trading Zach Greinke and possibly Paul Goldschmidt -- it sounds like they're taking a real step back. I'm going to go with everyone else and predict he ends up with the Yankees. Let's say, five years and $110 million.
BEN: I'm picking the Yankees, too. He's used to pitching in a hitter's park, although Chase Field isn't quite Yankee Stadium. But he's a strikeout pitcher, so the ballpark shouldn't matter a ton.
The Yankees need starting pitching, and they have plenty of money to spend. I'll say he gets five years, $105 million.
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. Friday is dedicated to free agent pitcher Patrick Corbin.