Patrick Corbin is one of several potential targets for the Los Angeles Angels but the team should stay away from overpaying the southpaw.
Perhaps the biggest need for the Los Angeles Angels this winter is to add starting pitching, in particular, reliable starting pitching. With Garrett Richards hitting free agency, Shohei Ohtani out for the year and the always unpredictable nature of injuries, the Angels are rather short-armed in the starting rotation.
With Mike Trout still on the roster and other great talents such as Justin Upton and Andrelton Simmons, the Angels are undoubtedly in the market to be contenders. While there might be a day sometime soon that the team completely strips it down, now is not the time.
Thus, the Angels are definitely in the market for one of the best free agent arms available, Patrick Corbin. Corbin is coming off an all-star season with Arizona and is in a relatively thin free-agent market, lifting his value much higher than it would have seemed a year ago.
Spotrac estimates Corbin’s average annual salary at $20.85 million, predicting that Corbin will get a five-year contract worth $104 million. That puts Corbin in the ballpark with Cole Hamels, Yu Darvish, Johnny Cueto and Rick Porcello.
Corbin certainly was good for the Diamondbacks last season but it is not worth it for the Los Angeles Angels to give him that kind of money.
The Angels have given out bad contracts in the past so I would not be surprised to see the Angels overpay for Corbin. Vernon Wells, Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton all benefitted from the front office’s generosity. Heck, Justin Upton’s five-year, $106 million contract could look pretty bad in two or three years.
The Angels would essentially be paying for one good season and one decent season out of Corbin, who was an all-star in 2013 as well as 2018.
Corbin’s 3.15 ERA and 1.050 WHIP were the best marks of his career. His 200.0 innings pitched was the first time in his career in which he reached the 200 number. If you are going to pay a pitcher over $20 million, it better be a near-guarantee that he throws 200 innings.
Corbin had a combined 4.55 ERA in 2016 and 2017, which is more in line with his true colors. He did have a 3.07 ERA against winning opponents last season, so that does help his argument.
However, he will be turning 30 in July and would be under contract until he is 35. Paying someone that much money on the wrong side of 30 with only one really great season under his belt is a recipe for disaster, especially considering he hasn’t showcased the ability to handle the workload of a true ace.
This is a contract that the Los Angeles Angels would regret a year after signing it. There are better options available on the market as well as potential trade chips. Go that route, not the route of Patrick Corbin.