Orioles Add Corbin Burnes in Blockbuster Trade, Details Revealed

The Baltimore Orioles have agreed on a trade that brings in 2021 Cy Young pitcher Corbin Burnes from the Milwaukee Brewers, a blockbuster deal that addresses the only weakness for an ascending leader in the American League.

“The Brewers are expected to receive a package of young players,” according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, who first broke the news. “The Orioles, possessing perhaps the deepest farm system in baseball, were willing to move premium talent to land Burnes, the top-of-the-rotation starter they have sought all offseason.”

In a follow-up report, ESPN’s Jeff Passan detailed that the Brewers will receive infielder Joey Ortiz, lefty pitcher D.L. Hall and the 34th pick in the 2024 draft in exchange for Burnes.

What Does Baltimore Orioles Trade for Corbin Burnes Mean for Milwaukee Brewers’ Future?

On the one hand, this match should not be too much of a surprise. The Orioles’ rotation holes were apparent in their first-round playoff exit last season and they have been tied to numerous pitching additions this offseason. And the Brewers have been fielding calls on Burnes, who is scheduled to be a free agent next year.

But on the other hand, it had started to seem as if the Brewers were focused on repeating as NL Central champions in 2024, particularly after they added free agent veteran Rhys Hoskins on a two-year, $34 million deal.

Now exchanging Burnes for some future talent, the team may be looking into offers for shortstop Willy Adames, who is also headed into free agency in 2025. It has also reportedly considered moving elite closer Devin Williams as well.

“The team also has entertained the possibility of trading closer Devin Williams, who was named the top reliever in the NL last season,” Rosenthal reported. “Williams is under club control for two seasons after recently agreeing to a one-year, $7.25 million contract with a $10.5 million club option for 2025.”

How Will Corbin Burnes Impact the Baltimore Orioles Rotation?

In Kyle Bradish and Grayson Rodríguez, their two best starters from 2023, the Orioles have the solid foundation for a strong staff of starters. But the 2023 rotation was largely seen as the team’s biggest weakness in a season that saw them win the AL East only to be bounced from the first round of the playoffs after those starters gave up 21 runs in three games.

Burnes, however, enjoyed an excellent 2023 and instantly becomes the Orioles’ ace.

“Burnes finished 10-8 with a 3.39 ERA in 193 2/3 innings for the Brewers last season, producing the best walks-and-hits-per innings ratio in the National League and fifth best in the majors,” Rosenthal reported. “The Brewers spent much of the offseason debating internally whether to trade him.”

Even after giving up Ortiz and Hall, the Orioles have retained the best young core of talent in all of MLB. Baltimore has five prospects ranked in the top 32 for all MLB, including number one Jackson Holliday, number 17 Samuel Basallo, number 19 Colton Cowser, number 30 Coby Mayo and number 32 Heston Kjerstad.

With a starter like Burnes added to the rotation, the Orioles are poised for a deeper playoff run in 2024. And with legendary shortstop Cal Ripken Jr. now a part owner of the team, things are looking up in Baltimore.

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