Orioles Acquire Corbin Burns – MLB Trade Rumors
The Orioles got the ace. Baltimore has announced the acquisition of the 2021 NL Cy Young Award winner Corbin Burns From the Brewers to the rookie Joey Ortizleft-handed DL Hall, and a 2024 Competitive Balance first-round draft pick (No. 34 overall). Milwaukee came back to the left Ethan Small For the mission to clear the necessary spot on the 40-man roster.
There has been speculation dating back to last season about the possibility of the Orioles getting a starter. Baltimore has a loaded farm system that has graduated a lot of young talent over the past two seasons. Most of that has been focused on the position side, making it a natural fit for them to utilize that farm depth to make an impact.
Burns certainly qualifies. He proved himself in Milwaukee’s rotation during the shortened 2020 campaign. The righty has finished in the top 10 in NL Cy Young balloting in each of the past four seasons. He won the award in ’21 thanks to an MLB-best 2.43 ERA across 167 innings pitched. Burns followed up with a National League-leading 243 strikeouts and a 2.94 ERA across 202 frames the following season.
Last season was perhaps the least impressive showing since its debut in 2020. However, this year can only be classified as a “stumbled” year by Burns’ formidable standards. He has remained the top pitcher in the rotation, posting a 3.39 ERA while striking out 193 2/3 innings across 32 starts. His 25.5% strikeout rate was a few points better than the league average, as was his swinging strike percentage of 12.2%. He finished eighth in Cy Young voting.
It wasn’t the same level of dominance that Burns had shown the previous three years. He fanned over 30% of opponents with a swinging strikeout rate of over 14% in each year from 2020 to 2022. However, Burns looked more like his old self. He carried a 3.94 ERA and a 23.1% strikeout rate into the All-Star break. In the second half, he fanned 28.6% of opponents while allowing just 2.71 earned points per nine. Opposing hitters had a pathetic .187/.259/.294 slash line after the Midsummer Classic.
Going back to the start of 2020, Burns has a 2.86 ERA in 105 appearances. He struck out roughly 31% of batters facing a modest 7.1% walk rate. Hits are hitting .197/.262/.308 in nearly 2,500 trips to the plate. Neither left-handed nor right-handed opponents had success against him. With the exception of a two-week injured list in early 2021 due to a bruised finger, he has not missed any time over the past three years.
Burns is a true player, one of the top 5-10 pitchers in baseball. He has catapulted to the top of a rotation that has suddenly gone from being the biggest question in Baltimore to one of the best personnel in the league. Kyle Bradish He is listed as the No. 2 pitching arm after a breakout 2023 campaign in which he pitched to a 2.83 ERA over 30 starts. Grayson Rodriguez He appeared to have converted a corner kick in the second half. The former top prospect pitched to a 4.35 ERA in his rookie season. After being tagged for a 7.35 ERA in his first 10 MLB games, he pitched to a 2.58 mark in his final 13 regular seasons (although he had a shutout in his only playoff appearance).
This is likely to be among the top three elite. Former All-Stars John means He returned from Tommy John surgery late last season. Some lingering elbow pain has kept him off the club’s playoff roster, but he’s expected to be healthy by 2024. If that’s true, he’d rank well in fourth place. Dean Kramer It is likely to finish last, though Tyler Wells And Cole Irvin They were thrust into relief roles in the season opener.
While the O’s would probably benefit from adding another depth or two, they have secured a true No. 1 center who should represent the final step on an already impressive roster. Baltimore’s young, loaded lineup and excellent relief staff led the team to 101 wins and the AL East title a year ago. The missing O star is closer Felix Bautista He had Tommy John surgery at the end of the year but moved early in the offseason to sign Craig Kimbrell As an alternative.
The buyout will likely be for one year. Burns will join free agency next season shortly after his 30th birthday. With anything resembling his typical production levels, he would be in line for a massive contract that could be up to eight years and $200-250 million. Burns has been clear about his desire to test his value on the open market. When asked in December about the possibility of signing an extension if he were traded this winter, he said such an offer “would have to be something that would absolutely blow your mind and keep you away from testing the free agent market.”
Until last week, O’s fans wouldn’t have been able to dream of the organization putting this kind of proposal on the table. Baltimore has cut back on spending significantly since John Angelos took control of the franchise. On Tuesday, the Angelos family agreed to sell the organization to private equity tycoon David Rubinstein. It remains to be seen how that will impact salary expectations long-term, but Baltimore fans can be more optimistic about the chances of making a major investment once Rubinstein takes control of the franchise after MLB approves a sale in the coming months.
However, the main focus is to install Burns at the top of next year’s rotation. The three-time All-Star settled for a $15.637 million contract with Milwaukee to avoid arbitration in his final season of eligibility. That makes him the highest-paid player on Baltimore’s roster and pushes the 2024 salary projection to nearly $96 million, according to Roster Resource calculations. This will be the highest season-opening payroll since 2018 and is a significant increase from last year’s approximate mark of $60 million.
However, they are in the bottom third of the league in terms of expected spending. They are making an effort to defend the title in what is annually one of the most competitive divisions of the sport. Their only obligations after this season are Bautista’s $1 million salary and a few inexpensive option buyouts. Even if this puts them closer to their spending cap this offseason, they should have the flexibility to bolster the roster further closer to the deadline.
That Baltimore did so without giving up any of its true top-tier prospects reflects the strength of its talent pipeline and the ceiling value of any player who is just a year away from free agency. Ortiz and Hall are both highly regarded young players but fall in the back half of Baltimore’s top 10 prospects in Baseball America.
Ortiz, 25, was a fourth-round pick in 2019 out of New Mexico State. He has earned praise for his defensive acumen dating back to his time in college. The right-handed hitter has been more productive at the plate than many amateur scouts expected. He has a slash of .286/.357/.449 in his minor league career. Ortiz posted similar numbers among the top two levels of the minors a year ago.
In exactly 600 games between Double-A Bowie and Triple-A Norfolk, he slashed .284/.349/.477. He slugged 35 doubles and 19 homers with an average 8.3% walk rate and a modest 16.3% strikeout percentage. Ortiz spent most of his time at shortstop while logging some action at second and third base. Baltimore promoted him for the first time at the end of April. However, he spent most of the season on option duty, appearing in just 15 big-league games. with Jackson Holiday And Gunnar Henderson With the projected left tackle for the foreseeable future, Ortiz would have had a hard time finding much playing time.
Baseball America’s scouting report rates Ortiz as a 70 (plus-plus) defensive shortstop prospect. Assuming he is not traded in the next six weeks, Willie Adams He will open the season at shortstop. Milwaukee will likely lose Adams to free agency next winter at the latest, leaving a clear path for Ortiz to emerge as a long-term answer. In the short term, he has to fight Andrew Monasterio And Owen Miller To play time at third base. If Monasterio or Miller orders the stretch run at the hot corner, Ortiz is a backup for Bryce Turang per second. Tourang is a talented defender but struggled at the plate during his first year.
Hall, also 25, was a first-round pick out of a high school in Georgia seven years ago. The 6’2″ southpaw has had the same general look throughout his entire career: big things with troubling control issues. Hall made his MLB debut in 2022 and has logged 33 big league innings over the past two seasons. He owns a 4.36 ERA with a strikeout rate of 29% while operating almost exclusively in relief.
A walk percentage of 7.6% at the MLB level is not out of the ordinary. However, Hall has been less consistent in hitting in the minors. He handed out free passes to more than 13% of the batters he faced in 49 innings in Norfolk a year ago, which is right in line with the 13.4% walk rate he had in his minor league career.
That he also struck out nearly a third of the hitters he faced in Triple-A speaks to the excellent arsenal he possesses. His fastball averaged nearly 96 mph in his big league relief work. Hall also worked with the slider and changeup in the mid-1980s while occasionally mixing in a curveball. BA’s scouting report indicates that all four of these offers could be plus or better.
It’s of the highest caliber, but Hall’s pitching has led many evaluators to paint him as a high-octane reliever. Milwaukee can use him in either capacity. The Brewers have a great opportunity in the rotation behind their new hires Freddy Peralta. Veteran leftist Wade Miley It is a constant presence. After that, Milwaukee could rely on any of them Colleen Rheareturning from injury Joe Ross And Aaron Ashby And prospects like Hall and Robert Gasser In the rotation.
Neither Ortiz nor Hall reached one year of major league service. Each is subject to club control for at least six seasons and three years away from arbitration. They are the type of young players that Milwaukee targets often. Their organizational philosophy, much like that of other small-market franchises like the Rays and Guardians, is to avoid traditional competitive windows while building the farm system by trading veterans as they approach free agency.
GM Matt Arnold has stated that trading Burnes is not a signal for a traditional rebuild (relayed by Curt Hoag of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel). Signed last week Rhys Hoskins To a $34 million free agent deal that allows him to opt out after next season shows they’re not giving up on competing in a wide-open NL Central. They have shown time and time again that they are nonetheless open to offers for most players to try to remain consistently competitive. After trading Josh Hader At the 2022 deadline, this led to discontent within the club, and the front office suggested they were less inclined to make those types of trades during the season.
Between the shoulder injury that led Milwaukee to no-tender Brandon Woodruff And in tonight’s move, the Brewers rolled out their two best starters this season. Milwaukee’s payroll projections drop to about $102 million per roster resource. That’s well below last year’s season-opening mark of $118 million. This leaves open the possibility of Milwaukee refilling the rotation in free agency. Arnold was noncommittal on whether the team plans to reinvest their salary savings (Via Hoag).
Milwaukee should add a top young third-rounder with the draft pick they received. Milwaukee would have gotten a compensatory pick had they let Burns leave in free agency — he’d certainly decline a qualifying offer — but that wouldn’t be until 2025. Baltimore could make Burns a starter next season (and will, unless he suffers a serious injury ). As a revenue-share receiver, they will receive compensation after the first round in 2025 if he signs elsewhere for at least $50 million.
Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic first reported that the Orioles were closing in on a deal to buy Burns. Jon Heyman of the New York Post Pointing out that the deal has been agreed upon. ESPN’s Jeff Passan It was reported that Ortiz and Hall were among the pieces headed to the brewery. Mark Feinsand of MLB.com I mentioned the inclusion of a draft pick to complete the deal.
Photos courtesy of USA Today Sports.
(tags for translation) Corbin Burns