Following the Cardinals’ trade for Nolan Arenado, it became clear the Brewers would need to respond in a big way. Hours later, it was reported Cleveland is listening to offers on 3B Jose Ramirez.
Quickly the sentiment from Brewers Twitter was that Corbin Burnes is an expendable piece, and including him in a trade would be a net positive. However, Corbin Burnes is and should be untouchable in any trade proposal.
Starting Pitching is Not a Position of Immense Strength
The Brewers have 2 starters set in stone for next season. Behind Woodruff and Burnes, there is no clear cut rotation. Holdovers from last year such as Adrian Houser, and Josh Lindblom appear to be good bets to make the rotation, but are not guaranteed it.
Typical thought surrounding trades is to trade from a position of strengths, and that is currently not the Brewers’ rotation. After making a piece-meal rotation for the better part of the decade (if not longer), the Brewers have two legitimate aces, and trading one away would be a mistake.
The Brewers appear to need a big acquisition to match the Cardinals, however, any possible package put together will not include Corbin Burnes.
Outside of Corbin Burnes and Brandon Woodruff, the Brewers have struggled to develop high quality pitching among players drafted by the team. The best home grown pitchers the Brewers have had this past decade have been Jimmy Nelson, and Wily Peralta.
Injuries cost Nelson, and Peralta unfortunately did not pan out. Before that, Yovani Gallardo and Ben Sheets took that title, both of whom suffered from injuries that kept them from reaching their full potential.
I understand that teams need to give up talented players to acquire good players, however there are ways to make this trade happen without giving up the Brewers’ ace for the next decade.
A justification of trading Burnes appears to be his struggles in 2019, and only one good season when combining both 2018 and 2020. However, Burnes had elite stuff throughout those seasons, he kept elite spin rates, and elite whiff %, and high strikeout rate.
It’s not as if Burnes had elite stuff one year, then nothing the next year. He has had a consistently elite arsenal since he has been in the Majors.
Cleveland also is not in need of starting pitchers. Despite trading away Corey Kluber, Mike Clevinger, and Carlos Carrasco, Cleveland still has an elite rotation spearheaded by Cy Young Winner Shane Bieber, Zach Plesac, and Triston McKenzie. You can never have enough pitching, however a deal that further deepens the rotation may not be as appealing to Cleveland as it may appear to be.
There is no other way to slice it: Ramirez is one of the best third basemen in the league, and he has an immensely team-friendly deal. Cleveland has traded the league’s best shortstop, and appears interested in doing the same with Ramirez.
Any Front Office with half a brain will be in on Ramirez, and the Brewers are no different. Ramirez has the ability to make any team an instant contender, by providing his elite offense, and respectable defense.
There are many reasons the Brewers should go out and bring in Ramirez, however Corbin Burnes will not be included in any of those proposals.