Brewers Blindside Fanbase with Shocking Corbin Burnes-Orioles Trade

Milwaukee receives two prospects and a draft pick in return, but loses their beloved ace.
Sep 16, 2023; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Corbin Burnes (39) pitches
Sep 16, 2023; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Corbin Burnes (39) pitches / Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

The Milwaukee Brewers just pulled off an absolute shocker of a trade that will have implications on the team's starting rotation, the division, and the future of the Crew.

After back-to-back offseasons of speculation that he might be moved by the team prior to hitting free agency after the 2024 season, starting pitcher Corbin Burnes has finally been traded as has been reported now by multiple sources. The Baltimore Orioles were the team that won the sweepstakes to be the trade partner.

The 29-year-old Burnes has been the ace of the Brewers for the last few seasons and was set to pitch in potentially his final year for the Brewers. Even with one year of team control remaining, losing him is an extremely significant blow to the team's starting rotation.

In his six seasons as a Brewer, Burnes was 45-27 with a 3.26 ERA, 1.055 WHIP, and 11.0 K/9. He had made the last three NL All-Star games and had received NL Cy Young votes in each of the last four seasons, including in 2021 when he won the award, the first such Brewers player to do so since Pete Vuckovich in the American League in 1982.

In their stunning trade of Corbin Burnes to the Orioles, the Brewers receive prospects DL Hall and Joey Ortiz as well as a draft pick in return.

Any trade that involved Burnes was sure to involve prospects and that's exactly what the Brewers got in return. The first of which is pitcher D.L. Hall, who had graduated from MLB Pipeline's list of the top 30 Orioles prospects but was the fifth best prospect in their system as recently as the end of 2022.

Hall, the 21st overall pick in the 2017 draft out of Valdosta High School in Georgia, had already cracked the big leagues with the Orioles. He has pitched in 29 games, all but one in relief, and so far is 4-1 with a 4.36 ERA in 33 innings with a 11.5 K/9.

Hall has a four-pitch mix that features a mid-to-high 90s fastball, a high 80s slider, a changeup, and a curve. Though he has pitched almost exclusively as a reliever so far in his short time in the majors, he has the stuff to be a starter long-term if that's the direction the Brewers choose to go.

Shortstop Joey Ortiz, the other player received in the trade, was a 4th round pick by Baltimore in 2019. He ended 2023 as the No. 6 player in the Orioles player by MLB Pipeline and they recently named him the 63rd best prospect in all of baseball.

Ortiz has a career .285/.357/.449 slash line in four minor league seasons including 2023, which was spent entirely at Triple-A and saw him slash .321/.378/.507 with 30 doubles, four triples, and nine homers in 88 games. He's seen as an elite defender with an above average hit tool.

The Brewers also receive the 34th pick in the upcoming draft. Milwaukee would've likely received a similar pick in 2025 if Burnes had declined a qualifying offer as expected, but now they will get that pick a year earlier.

Questions remain about what will happen to the Brewers starting rotation in 2024, where, if at all, Hall and Ortiz will play for Milwaukee this season, and what other moves could come after this. But for now, the main point is that the ace of the Brewers starting rotation, one of the best pitchers in all of baseball, is a member of the Crew no more.