Orioles stun AL East with Corbin Burnes trade to revive dead offseason

The Orioles pulled off a blockbuster Thursday night trade

Sep 22, 2023; Miami, Florida, USA; Milwaukee Brewers starting pitcher Corbin Burnes (39) delivers a pitch during a game against the Miami Marlins
Sep 22, 2023; Miami, Florida, USA; Milwaukee Brewers starting pitcher Corbin Burnes (39) delivers a pitch during a game against the Miami Marlins / Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports
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We have a big move for the Baltimore Orioles! One day after John Angelos reportedly sold the team to a group led by David Rubenstein, Ken Rosenthal broke that the Orioles have acquired Brewers ace Corbin Burnes in a trade. The Orioles have since confirmed the news.

Orioles pull off blockbuster deal for Corbin Burnes

With the Orioles having been in search of a frontline starting pitcher all offseason, this trade gets that goal done. Burnes has made three straight All Star Games, won the NL Cy Young in 2021 while also winning the ERA title that year.

According to Mark Feinsand and Kiley McDaniel, the Orioles are sending infielder Joey Ortiz, lefty pitcher DL Hall, and the team's competitive balance round A draft pick (34th overall) to the Brewers in the deal. Burnes right now is scheduled to hit free agency for the first time this offseason.

While he wasn't in Cy Young form in 2023, Burnes was still a very good pitcher. He ended the year with a 3.39 ERA and an NL best 1.069 WHIP, averaging 9.3 strikeouts per nine and allowed 22 home runs all year in 193 2/3 innings, making 32 starts.

Burnes is due $15.6 million this season as per the agreement he came to with the Brewers to avoid arbitration. That makes him the highest paid player on the Orioles, surpassing Craig Kimbrel's contract from December. Burnes is well worth it, as he's everything the Orioles need in an ace: durable, makes batters miss, and has playoff experience.

The advanced metrics are extremely favorable for Burnes as well. He was worth 3.4 fWAR in 2023 and for good reason. He finished in the 96th percentile in pitching run value, the 92nd percentile in average exit velocity, and 90th percentile in hard hit percentage.

Burnes' pitch arsenal is very good all around. His fastball run value was in the 88th percentile, the 89th percentile in breaking ball run value and offspeed run value.

This trade is a slam dunk for the Orioles. It accomplishes the goal of landing an ace for the top of the rotation and it didn't cost very much given the Orioles top ranked farm system.

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