Ever since last offseason, one big question started to really ramp up its intensity: will the Milwaukee Brewers end up trading either starting pitcher Corbin Burnes or shortstop Willy Adames?
Questions like that aren't unfamiliar to smaller market teams like the Brewers. As All-Star level players (or close) start to hit their prime years, reality sets in that these teams won't be able to afford signing them to a contract extension and should consider a trade as opposed to losing said players without getting anything back in return.
The Brewers duo certainly fits that bill. While Burnes is just two years removed from winning the NL Cy Young award and would be the ace on nearly every staff in the league, Adames, even with a lower slash line in recent years, is a run-producing shortstop, which is a rare player to come upon for any team.
Experts have gone back and forth all offseason as to whether they believe Burnes and/or Adames will be traded by Milwaukee before the 2024 season begins. For Brewers fans hoping the two will be in uniform for one more season, their wish might end up coming true.
Per FanSided's Robert Murray, the feeling is that Brewers players Corbin Burnes and Willy Adames will be staying put this offseason.
In a recent article documenting what he's hearing across the league, FanSided's own Robert Murray addressed the status of the Brewers pair as they are just a year away from free agency. Here is what he had to say:
"An additional note: Brewers general manager Matt Arnold said at the Winter Meetings that he anticipated both Corbin Burnes and Willy Adames to be on the Opening Day roster. That remains the case, as there’s skepticism that either Burnes or Adames will be traded this offseason."- Robert Murray, FanSided
Arnold saying what he said about Burnes and Adames is all well and good, but GMs say those types of things all the time only to do something different when a tempting enough offer comes in. But now even the industry experts are believing it to be true and that's not just Murray.
Speaking about Burnes in particular, USA Today baseball insider Bob Nightengale was in agreement, saying that, "teams now believe that the Milwaukee Brewers will not trade ace Corbin Burnes, and plan to revisit their position at the All-Star break."
Brewers brass has made it known all offseason that their intent is to be competitive in 2024 and their best chance at doing so is to hold on to Burnes and Adames. With starting pitcher Brandon Woodruff now gone, retaining Burnes is even more important in the quest to win games. The same goes with Adames, who would be replaced by the light-hitting sophomore Brice Turang.
The other likely conclusion in all this is that the Brewers just haven't received a trade offer sufficient enough to justify moving either player. Milwaukee is probably asking for the moon in return for Burnes or Adames, as they should for players who, despite being in the final year of team control, are in their prime and could be extended for years by a receiving team.
There is still a chance that the Brewers do get that perfect trade offer and move one or both of their impending free agents. But for now, it appears that fans will get to see them as members of the Crew for at least one more year.