Orioles Secure Cy Young Winner Corbin Burnes in Bold Trade with Brewers

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The announcement on Thursday brought news of a significant trade between the Milwaukee Brewers and the Baltimore Orioles, as the Orioles secured the services of former Cy Young winner Corbin Burnes. In exchange, they parted ways with infielder Joey Ortiz, left-hander DL Hall, and the 34th pick in the 2024 draft. This deal unfolded between two teams that both clinched division titles in the previous season.

While several teams had explored trade options for Burnes during the winter, the Orioles, who recorded an impressive 101 victories last year and boast one of the most promising young cores in the Major Leagues, emerged as the contenders. The move addressed the Orioles’ concerns about their rotation and added a seasoned arm to their pitching staff.

Burnes, 29, enters the Orioles’ rotation after a stellar season with the Brewers, where he contributed to their NL Central title victory with a 10-8 record, a 3.39 ERA, and 200 strikeouts in 193⅔ innings. With Burnes set to enter free agency after the 2024 season, the Orioles are hoping his presence will solidify their pitching rotation alongside returning talents like Kyle Bradish and Grayson Rodriguez.

Milwaukee’s decision to trade Burnes, the 2021 National League Cy Young winner, may have surprised some, given their status as favorites in the Central. However, the Brewers opted to make the move now to avoid potential complications at the trade deadline or the risk of losing Burnes in free agency.

Brewers general manager Matt Arnold expressed mixed feelings about the decision, acknowledging the challenge of trading a player of Burnes’ caliber but emphasizing excitement about the players acquired in return. The trade allows Milwaukee to shed Burnes’ $15.6 million salary, contributing to an Opening Day payroll estimated at $92 million by Baseball Prospectus. The Orioles, with a payroll of around $90 million, make a noteworthy move as their ownership undergoes a transition.

Joey Ortiz, the 25-year-old infielder, could find a starting role in the Brewers’ infield this season, potentially taking over in 2025 if Willy Adames departs in free agency. Ortiz, known for his versatility in playing second base, third base, and shortstop, showcased his hitting prowess in Triple-A, batting .321/.378/.507 with nine home runs and 58 RBIs in 389 plate appearances last season.

DL Hall, primarily a starter in the minors, joins the Brewers after displaying impressive strikeout numbers across multiple levels. With 137 strikeouts in 84⅓ innings in 2022, Hall adds depth to the Brewers’ pitching staff, which is undergoing changes with the departure of Burnes and Brandon Woodruff.

Milwaukee’s recent signings, including first baseman Rhys Hoskins and center fielder Jackson Chourio, indicate a commitment to balancing present competitiveness and future aspirations. The Brewers, known for successful drafts, will receive a compensation pick from Baltimore with a slot value of around $2.5 million, continuing their strategic approach to building for both the present and the future.