Two years ago, Corbin Burnes finished the season with an NL-leading 2.43 ERA, won his first career Cy Young and looked to be a part of the Brewers’ long-term core. Two years later, he’s a prime trade candidate for a Brewers team that looks to be taking a step back after losing Craig Counsell to the Cubs and co-ace Brandon Woodruff to shoulder surgery. If Burnes does indeed get dealt, here are five teams Burnes could end up helping in 2024 and beyond.
Corbin Burnes trade destinations
5. St. Louis Cardinals
The Cardinals are going to add pitching this offseason after only winning 71 games last season, but it remains to be seen if they’ll look toward the free agent pool or the trade block for their upgrades. The Cardinals have the No. 22 ranked farm system per MLB Pipeline, so it’s not a given that they’d dip into their scant prospect depth to get Burnes for only a year. Plus, there’s the added factor of the Brewers trading Burnes within their division. It would take a lot to get this deal done, even if the Cardinals to have lots of young position-player talent already in the Majors like Tyler O’Neill and Dylan Carlson.
4. Texas Rangers
What better way to capitalize on your first World Series win in franchise history than going out and nabbing an ace via trade? The Rangers might lose Jordan Montgomery to free agency, so they could turn to Burnes and the Brewers for a replacement. Even after last year’s deadline binge, Texas still has the No. 10 farm system in baseball per MLB Pipeline, with plenty of young outfielders (Evan Carter, Wyatt Langford) or starting pitchers (Kumar Rocker, Jack Leiter) to make this deal work.
3. Los Angeles Dodgers
The Dodgers have a clear need for pitching, and the California native Burnes would be all they need and more. Clayton Kershaw is a free agent once again and isn’t getting any younger or healthier, Julio Urias is on administrative leave and Walker Buehler, Tony Gonsolin and Dustin May are all recovering from injury, so Los Angeles will need to go get some rotation help this offseason. It’s just a matter of whether they want to spend nine figures in free agency, or dip into their farm system to nab Burnes away from the Brewers.
2. Atlanta Braves
Another team that won 100 games in the regular season only to run out of pitching in the postseason, the Braves would love to have Burnes on their roster, where he’d provide immediate reinforcement to Max Fried and Spencer Strider. That said, the Braves have one of the weakest farm systems in baseball due to the promotion of so many of their prospects, so the Brewers would have to work to find some players who fit their timeline.
1. Baltimore Orioles
The Orioles have the best farm system in baseball and a clear need for pitching, so it’d be tough to find a team that could beat them in a race for Burnes. Baltimore has a plethora of young talented position players but are thinner when it comes to pitching depth, as Kyle Bradish and Grayson Rodriguez seem to be the only sure things in their rotation.