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  • Which Teams Can Offer the Brewers the Best Prospects for Burnes?

    Harold Hutchison

    With the mega-deals to Jacob deGrom and Justin Verlander setting what looks like an impossible market for the Brewers to extend Corbin Burnes, trading Burnes seems the best option.

    Image courtesy of © Michael McLoone-USA TODAY Sports

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    The question is, of course, what sort of return? The Brewers will not get some star on a mega-deal in return. The best bet is to secure some excellent young players for the short term and some good prospects for the medium term. So which teams are likely to provide that return?

    We can look at Bleacher Report’s Top 100 prospect list to get an idea. This list also offers 50 honorable mentions. We’ve looked for teams who could provide at least one pitcher, who would have limited exposure to the Brewers in the regular season, and who could also help boost the team elsewhere.

    Baltimore Orioles
    The Orioles have six prospects in BR’s Top 100, and if the Brewers were to send them Burnes, a good return package would be RHP Grayson Rodriguez, LHP DL Hall, and IF Jordan Westburg.

    All three are nearly major-league-ready. Rodriguez and Hall could be pieces for rotation depth, while Westburg offers an option at third base, giving the Brewers more upside than the Owen Miller/Abraham Toro duo. In addition, Baltimore is in the American League, and the Brewers are less likely to face Burnes. This is the best-case scenario for the Brewers in a Burnes trade.

    Cleveland Guardians
    Like the Orioles, the Guardians have six players in BR’s Top 100. They could be another excellent partner, given their presence in the American League. A good return package from Cleveland would be RHPs Daniel Espino, Gavin Williams, and Tanner Bibee. Espino, though, only started four games in 2022 with shoulder soreness, so there is a risk.

    All three would be about a year away, but the Brewers could also end up having to deal Brandon Woodruff and Eric Lauer, so having plenty of replacements in the pipeline is a good thing. Should the Brewers work out an extension with Woodruff, it never hurts to have excellent pitching prospects to get help elsewhere (third base, perhaps?). The quantity could be very good for the Brewers, but Espino’s shoulder makes this trade a bit riskier than Baltimore's. The Brewers could also ask for C Bo Naylor in place of Espino, giving them a 1-2 punch behind the plate in a left-right platoon with William Contreras.

    Tampa Bay Rays
    The Brewers have had some mutually beneficial deals with the Rays – see the Willy Adames trade. The Crew got a top-10 shortstop in MLB; the Rays turned Drew Rasmussen into an ace. Here, the Brewers could send Burnes and get back RHP Taj Bradley, IF Curtis Mead, and LHP Mason Montgomery.

    Bradley and Mead could compete for 26-man roster spots, while Montgomery could be an eventual replacement for Lauer. This deal would be tricky because the Brewers would have to get an extension for Adames done, but the Rays would make an excellent match for another deal.

    Toronto Blue Jays
    Yes, a third AL East team could be in the mix for Burnes. The Blue Jays would be a little trickier, as they only have one player in the top 100: LHP Ricky Tiedemann, who the Brewers would have to insist be included. Here, the Brewers would have two options for additional players. 

    One would be to ask for players from the honorable mentions: LHP Brandon Barriera, RHP Yosver Zulueta, and IF Orelvis Martinez. The problem is that Barriera is more of a long-term prospect (being a 2022 draftee), while Martinez hits for power but struggles with OBP and contact. The other option would be to ask for a young player or two: RHP Alek Manoah and IF Cavan Biggio could be part of the return. Still, a Tiedemann-Manoah return for Burnes alone would give the Brewers a rotation to contend for years.

    Houston Astros
    Making a deal with the defending World Series champs is the riskiest short-term option. The Brewers could be handing a Cy Young winner to potential opponents in the post-season (this risk also exists with Tampa, Cleveland, Toronto, and Baltimore). But in this case, the Brewers could get some good help.

    But their only two Top 100 prospects are RHP Hunter Brown, who split between the rotation and the bullpen, and catcher Yainer Diaz. The Brewers could also ask for OF Justin Dirden, a left-handed OF who has played all three positions, but that leaves the pitching return thin, a long-term risk for the team. But suppose the Crew could talk Houston into taking Burnes and Victor Caratini for a Brown-Diaz-Dirden package. In that case, they could package an outfielder with Lauer for pitching help, but extending Woodruff, Lauer, and Adames would become “must-do” items to keep the team competitive.

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    I think if you were to Trade Burnes, you'd need a top level pitching prospect coming back, or so the Brewers would look for. Its not especially deep at farm level unless Misiorowski really fires

    Blue Jays

    They could be a good trade partner as they are looking to compete hard and now, and could give up their top prosepcts more easily than say a Baltimore would

    I dont think there's any way the Blue Jays suggestion happens, as Manoah due to control and his performance last season would be far more valuable than Burnes right now alone, never mind with a top prospect like Tiedemann.

    I feel maybe a better trade would be for Tiedemeann, Juenger and maybe Cade Doughty?


    Hunter Brown did perform well at AAA last year as well as in the bigs, so may have unlocked something given previous seasons had him closer to 4 ERA in the lower minors. I think if the brewers were to accept this (and again i think Astros may be open to a trade to make use of the likes of Bregman, Alvarez, etc as best as possible) they'd need a little more heft behind it, maybe in the form of potential high ceiling of Drew Gilbert along with it and maybe another long shot attached

    Tampa Bay Rays

    Given their business model I'm not sure I can see this happening and would probably back their pitching development to make use of their farm system to develop better value than Burnes arby years, and already have 2 aces in Glasnow and McLanaghan

    Baltimore Orioles

    They'll likely back Grayson Rodriguez to hit his ceiling, rather than trade him and he'd need to be a focal point of the deal so can't see this happening. They've a young squad and dont have that " we need to win now" mentality

    Other options


    Could get some quality bats from their farm but I dont think their pitchers bring enough upside. They would likely be keen however given they could do with a boost to their rotation, and maybe although Bobby Miller is no sure thing, could centre a trade around him or Gavin Stone actually (how is stone rated so low in their system) and add in Vargas/Busch or Pepiot. This trade actually makes a lot of sense for both teams given the Dodgers current division and battle with the padres/desire to win against the big spenders in NL East, and Brewers look for control of pitchers with starting potential


    Desperate for a big name, would maybe need Kyle Harrison and Marco Luciano, would they do this trade? I actually quite like the look of it, and as I said the Giants are looking to placate the fan base and maybe offer Burnes an instant contract extension. Brewers get back a potential quality TOR (More Like MR) starting pitcher and high end SS/3B with a strong arm


    Was looking at entirely pitching absed as the Rangers will want to improve their lineup and I'd imagine even for Burnes they see Josh Jung as important enough to them, but a potnetial trade for Brock Poter, Owen White and Jack Leiter, I'd be curious if they took it. Again very much in win now mode due to their big signing and contracts of Semien, Seager & DeGrom, could get more from them than other smaller teams



    Another team in Win Now mode, and would love a top 3 of Wheeler, Burnes & Nola, especially in the divison they're in and with the BP they have, pitching would be a huge strength. Andrew Painter is a very promising pitcher, and maybe a trade involving him, Mick Abel & Eric Miller would be a suitable return

    When you think about it too, very possible with 7 starters that a Burnes trade is in the offing


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    Surprised the Dodgers didn't make your list as they have 7 top 100 prospects on MLB Pipeline's list, including infield and pitching prospects that would make sense for the Brewers.  I think the Brewers and Dodgers match up really well on a Burnes and/or Adames trade.

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    50 minutes ago, clancyphile said:

    Houston Astros
    Making a deal with the defending World Series champs is the riskiest short-term option. The Brewers could be handing a Cy Young winner to potential opponents in the post-season (this risk also exists with Tampa, Cleveland, Toronto, and Baltimore). But in this case, the Brewers could get some good help.


    I mean the first sentence makes absolutely zero sense as you acknowledged anyone trading for Burnes better be expecting to make the postseason...Astros or not.

    Outside of that, if we trade Burnes to a playoff team in the AL and somehow find ourselves with the huge problem of facing them in the postseason...I think we will be okay with that risk. ?

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    Not a chance in hell Toronto trades Manoah for Burnes.  Why would that make sense for them?  Why would they trade a younger Ace who they have under control for another ace that they will only have for two seasons?

    Also, I want nothing to do with Biggio, a guy who lives off his last name.

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    The Mets are probably mostly to be a trade partner with us on Corbin.  They are win now at any costs. Not sure what they have in the farm at the moment but your going to get more if the team has a shot at signing Corbin.

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