2024-02-04 · 2 min read · MLB/Baseball
Former Milwaukee Brewers’ ace Corbin Burnes

Stacy Revere/Getty Images | Wendell Cruz/USA Today

Throughout the last week, Baltimore fans have had plenty to cheer about. The announced sale of the organization to private equity billionaire David Rubenstein reminded everyone of just how displeased the fanbase had become with the Angelos family, while the inclusion of Orioles’ legend Cal Ripken Jr. was the proverbial cherry on top amidst the brand new ownership group.
Now, days later, the Baltimore Orioles made headlines across Major League Baseball by announcing they had a deal in place for Milwaukee Brewers’ ace Corbin Burnes - a three-time All-Star and 2021 NL Cy Young Winner. Heading the other way to Wisconsin are two youngsters - LHP DL Hall and INF Joey Ortiz - plus a Competitive Round A pick.
A low price to pay, even with Burnes becoming a Free Agent at the end of 2024.
For Baltimore, they’ve found their ace - Burnes has dominated (outside of 2019) every year he’s pitched in the Majors, tag-teaming with the likes of Brandon Woodruff and Freddy Peralta for many of his years resulting in perennially great rotations that Brewers’ fans have got to enjoy year over year. In 2023, Burnes’ numbers dipped somewhat from previous years though, as one notes, only when compared to his prior seasons’ otherworldly statlines. He finished the season 10-8 with a 3.39 ERA over 193 ⅔ IP and led the National League in WHIP at 1.069. An inflated first-half of the season caused Burnes’ strikeout rate to drop and walk rate to increase, though from July to August he reverted to his usual dominated ways - 2.72 ERA over 16 starts (99 ⅓ IP), striking out 111 with an opponent’s batting average of .177.
He will slide in at the top of Baltimore’s rotation, followed by Kyle Bradish and some combination of John Means/Grayson Rodriguez/Dean Kramer/Tyler Wells. Burnes comes with an added bonus of playoff experience too, having pitched in eight postseason games.
On the other side, this is just another step in the way of major changes for Matt Arnold’s Brew Crew. With Burnes traded and Woodruff having likely thrown his last pitch for Milwaukee, along with ex-Manager Craig Counsell inking a massive deal with the rival Cubs, a more cost-effective roster will be seen this upcoming summer. Christian Yelich’s name has been thrown around in trade rumours for years now, though at this time he’s on track to remain a Brewer - at least to start the year. Freddy Peralta now heads the rotation, with veterans Wade Miley and Colin Rea, righty Joe Ross, the newly-acquired DL Hall, and rookie Robert Gasser expected to follow in some order.
Joey Ortiz also gets dealt, a former 4th-round Infielder who entered 2023 as MLB’s #99 overall prospect. He debuted briefly, hitting .212 over very limited at-bats (33) over 15 games from April to June. In AAA however, Ortiz slashed .321/.378/.507/.885 with 9 HR and 58 RBI. He puts up equally good splits versus lefties and righties, though he possesses a much higher BB rate against LHP. As it stands, Hoskins and Adames will consistently man the corners, meaning Ortiz may end platooning with Brice Turang, Owen Miller, Andrew Monasterio, and Vinny Capra depending on who breaks camp with the Major League squad.
With less than a month to go until camps open for Spring Training, the AL East continues to load up on big talent in what’s sure to be [at least] a three-team dogfight for the division.
Regarding Boston and their fans, as Jeff Probst would say, I got nothin’ for ya.
Sports Tree Profile

By: Gus Cousins


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