The specifics of the six-year, $140 million deal Patrick Corbin signed with the Nationals have come out, and unsurprisingly, much of the money is backloaded.
Here are the details, courtesy of Jon Heyman:
Patrick Corbin: 2.5M signing bonus, 12.5m in 2019, 19M in 2020, 24M in 2021, 23M in 2022, 24m in 2023, 35M in 2024 (10M deferred w/o interest). 140m total. #nats— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) December 11, 2018
As you'll notice, the Nats will be paying Corbin $35 million in 2024, his age-35 season. That's an $11 million jump from the previous year, and $22.5 million more than he'll be making in the 2019 season.
That may sound like a lot of money to be paying an aging pitcher in the final year of his deal. But with the Nats, that's standard operating procedure.
To demonstrate, let's take a look at the contracts of Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg, Washington's other two marquee starters (contract details found on spotrac.com)
Scherzer signed a seven-year, $210 million deal with the Nats before the 2015 season, the average annual salary sitting at $30 million. However, he's only been receiving a base salary of $15 million a year -- plus signing bonus money and incentives -- through his first four years in D.C.
Why? His contract is very backloaded: starting in 2019 until his contract expires in 2021, he'll start earning a base salary close to or more than $30 million. In addition, much of his money is deferred: from 2022-28, Washington will be paying Scherzer $105 million, good for $15 million each year.
As for Strasburg, his contract includes an even more dramatic salary jump than Corbin's or Scherzer's. Since he signed his seven-year $175 million deal, he's earned base annual salaries of $10.4 million, $15 million and $15 million from 2016-18.
In 2019, that number balloons to $35 million, then down to $25 million in 2020 and back to $15 million in 2021 and 2022, before rising once again to the tune of a whopping $45 million in 2023!
In conclusion, the Nats will be paying their top three pitchers a ton of money, but Washington has decided to delay cutting those checks to give themselves more financial flexibility in the present.
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