Brewers Trade Candidate #2 - RHP Corbin Burnes
Logic would say that the chances of the Brewers trading Corbin Burnes following Brandon Woodruff's season ending shoulder surgery dropped to zero. But apparently those chances are not quite fully zero.
Burnes, like Adames, is entering his final year of team control before hitting free agency. Since an extension is unlikely, Burnes is going to be on a new team after 2024 anyway. Rather than getting a draft pick in 2025 for him, the Brewers could opt to trade Burnes to get some more value that's closer to the big leagues.
There are two key differences between Burnes and Adames as trade candidates though. First, the free agent starting pitching market is deep with options this year while the shortstop class is not. There are a lot of big money pitchers available and teams will prefer to just spend money for a pitcher rather than prospects and money if they can. Second, the Brewers don't have a ready made replacement for Burnes on their roster, in fact they're already in need of more starting pitchers and don't have enough to go around.
The second problem could somewhat be remedied by the return for Burnes. Milwaukee could look to get a couple of pitchers in return for a Burnes trade. Granted those pitchers are not going to be anywhere near as good as Burnes presently, but the depth problem could be addressed somewhat. Trading from the rotation to address the lack of rotation options seems counterintuitive, though.
The first problem simply means the Brewers will have to wait out the market before they could make a move with Burnes. The top of the free agent starting pitcher market will have to be picked over first and then the teams that miss out on those pitchers will represent the hungriest market for a Burnes trade.
It's possible a Burnes trade could happen this offseason and it's likely this is the Brewers last chance to trade their Cy Young winner before free agency. A move at the Deadline mid-season seems unlikely if the Brewers are in the playoff hunt.