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Baltimore Orioles acquire Corbin Burnes: Breaking down the blockbuster MLB trade

Milwaukee Brewers' Corbin Burnes
Michael McLoone-USA TODAY Sports

The Baltimore Orioles have headlined MLB news this week. It started with reports that the Angelos’ family has finally opted to sell the organization to two highly-respected billionaires.

As for the team itself, this offseason has been rather slow following an eye-opening 101-win season. Until now.

ESPN’s Jeff Passan reported Thursday evening that Baltimore has acquired former National League Cy Young winner Corbin Burnes from the Milwaukee Brewers in a blockbuster trade. The details are as intriguing as it gets.

Baltimore Orioles get Milwaukee Brewers get
Corbin BurnesINF: Joey Ortiz
LHP: D.L. Hall
34th pick in 2024 MLB Draft

The fact that Baltimore was able to acquire Burnes without giving up any of its top-five prospects has to be seen as a major win for the organization. Meanwhile, Milwaukee knew that it faced the real threat of losing the star pitcher once he hits free agency after the upcoming season.

Baltimore Orioles add top-flight pitcher in Corbin Burnes

baltimore orioles trade for corbin burnes
Michael McLoone-USA TODAY Sports

It’s been an area that Orioles general manager Mike Elias has been attempting to add to this winter. That is to say, adding an ace in the rotation with Baltimore’s surplus of offense picking it up big time last season.

Prior to the addition of Burnes, Kyle Bradish was slated to head things. He pitched to a 12-7 record with a 2.83 ERA and 1.04 WHIP last season. That’s ace stuff. This means Baltimore now has co-aces as it attempts to compete with stellar lineups in the American League East this season, including the Toronto Blue Jays, New York Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays.

Some say that Burnes had a down 2023 season in Milwaukee. While that might be true, he did lead the NL with a 1.07 WHIP and struck out 200 batters in 193.2 innings. Those are some great numbers.

Back in 2021 with Milwaukee, the 29-year-old Burnes posted a 2.43 ERA and 0.94 WHIP with 234 strikeouts in earning the NL Cy Young.

With Burnes in the mix, Baltimore’s rotation is laid out perfectly moving forward. He’ll join the aforementioned Bradish atop the rotation. Youngster Grayson Rodriguez will join John Means, Dean Kremer and Tyler Wells in likely filling out said rotation.

Related: Proceed with caution, but John Angelos selling Baltimore Orioles to David Rubenstein could be great for MLB

Milwaukee Brewers net nice return in Corbin Burnes trade

MLB: Game One-Baltimore Orioles at Detroit Tigers
Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

As mentioned above, Milwaukee knew that it was likely to lose Burnes in free agency next offseason. He’s represented by the respected Scott Boras and was going to seek a deal in MLB free agency that would outpace Milwaukee’s mid-market status.

In return for Burnes, Milwaukee acquires the Orioles’ No. 6 prospect in that of infielder Joey Ortiz. The 25-year-old had a cup of coffee in the Majors last season, hitting .212 with four RBI in 33 at-bats. He was ranked as MLB’s 99th prospect heading into the 2023 season after hitting .284 with 19 homers, 85 RBI and an .826 OPS in two minor league stops the previous year.

As for Hall, he was the Orioles fifth-ranked prospect heading into the 2022 season. The 6-foot-2 lefty posted a 3-0 record with a 3.26 ERA and 1.19 WHIP in 18 appearances with the Baltimore Orioles last season. He was primarily a starter at the minor league level, a role we envision him fulfilling in Baltimore as a replacement for Burnes.

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