Corbin Burnes all but confirms that he will be one and done in Baltimore

The Corbin Burnes Era in Baltimore is very likely to end after just one season based on his latest comments.
Wild Card Series - Arizona Diamondbacks v Milwaukee Brewers - Game One
Wild Card Series - Arizona Diamondbacks v Milwaukee Brewers - Game One / Stacy Revere/GettyImages

The biggest move that the Baltimore Orioles made this offseason was to trade for Corbin Burnes. The Orioles' starting rotation was a weakness of theirs in 2023 and, coming into the offseason, everyone assumed that the front office was going to find a way to add a starter. It took longer than many thought, as Baltimore flirted with the idea of trading for Dylan Cease, but the Orioles ended up getting their man.

That said, the worst kept secret was that Burnes' tenure with the Orioles was destined to be short from the start. Burnes is going to be among the best arms available in free agency after the 2024 season, alongside Max Fried, and his market only strengthened with the news that Zack Wheeler had signed an extension with the Phillies. Even if Burnes loves his time in Baltimore and the Orioles would love to keep him, the likelihood that the team could afford to keep him is very, very small (unless the team's new ownership group would like to pull off a magic trick).

Burnes seemed to confirm as much in a recent interview which was covered by The Athletic. He talked at length about his thoughts on the pitching market this winter and what he wants from his next deal. None of it was good news for those hoping he would stick around Baltimore for the long haul.

Orioles News: Burnes latest comments prove he is hitting free agency no matter what

Much of what Burnes talked about involved what he had to do to make sure that his next contract is the long-term deal he desires. He is preparing hard for the season and wants to show out not only for himself, but also because this is his walk year. He knows that if he stays healthy and pitches well, he is gonna get paid.

It is hard to blame Burnes here. While it does feel a little gross that he is talking so matter of factly about the dollars and cents of his future, he is also coming from a situation with the Brewers where there was a very contentious arbitration process that cost him money. On top of that, he also knows that if he doesn't pitch well or gets hurt, the league will be happy to lowball him despite how good he has been in the past.

For the Orioles, this highlights the difficulties they will face going forward unless they get the green light to spend more on their roster. Baltimore did quite well in not having to give up too much to land Burnes in a trade, but it is only for one year of control. There is a small chance that the Orioles can land a guy and he will give them a hometown discount because of how good the team is, but banking on that going forward is a fool's errand.

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