Corbin Burnes hasn’t made a start in a Milwaukee Brewers uniform, but the team should still look to buy out his years of team control and arbitration.
Burnes breezed through the Milwaukee Brewers’ Minor League system in less than three years. He started at the Rookie level in 2016, and was pitching in Milwaukee last year. He’s moving from the Major League bullpen to the starting rotation this year. If his history is any indication, he should be able to make the adjustment to starting in the Majors without much difficulty.
Burnes has a starter’s repertoire and ability. There’s a non-zero chance that he ends the 2019 season as the best starting pitcher in the organization. He’s very affordable for the next few years, but his yearly salary could get expensive in just a few seasons.
Why not offer him a deal similar to what Chris Sale signed with the Chicago White Sox in 2013? Sale took a deal for five years at $32.5 million, and ended up as one of the best values in all of baseball. Burnes doesn’t carry anywhere near the same injury risk that Sale had at the time, and paying him now means the Brewers can afford him later.