Brewers trade Corbin Burnes to Baltimore

The Milwaukee Brewers traded All-Star right-hander Corbin Burnes to the Baltimore Orioles on Thursday night for left-hander DL Hall, infield prospect Joey Ortiz and a competitive balance draft pick.

It’s a blockbuster for the Orioles, who had a quiet offseason but remained hopeful they could add more pitching as they prepare to defend their AL East championship. Baltimore has a terrific core of young players — particularly position players — but had not been particularly aggressive in terms of signing free agents or making trades. Now the Orioles are acquiring the 2021 National League Cy Young Award winner.

Burnes, who turned 29 in October, went 10-8 with a 3.39 ERA last year. The previous three seasons, he had an ERA under 3.00, including when he went 11-5 with a 2.43 ERA in 2021.

“Corbin was a tremendous part of our recent seasons of success, and we appreciate all he contributed to the organization over the years,” Milwaukee general manager Matt Arnold said. “We wish him and his family the very best going forward.”

He joins a Baltimore rotation that was good enough to help the team win 101 games last season — but remained more of a question mark than some other areas on the roster.

Kyle Bradish and rookie Grayson Rodriguez pitched well down the stretch in 2023, and now Burnes arrives as someone who can clearly be an ace when he’s pitching to his potential.

Baltimore is sending the 25-year-old Hall — a first-round pick in 2017 — to the Brewers after he went 3-0 with a 3.26 ERA last season. The 25-year-old Ortiz is ranked as baseball’s No. 63 prospect.

Milwaukee, which won the NL Central by nine games last season, parts ways with Burnes a year before he’s eligible to become a free agent. The Brewers receive Ortiz, who hit .321 at Triple-A last year and appeared in 15 games for the Orioles.

“The Brewers are receiving two talented young major league-ready players along with a valuable 2024 draft pick,” Arnold said. “We expect both DL and Joey to have an impact on our 2024 season and beyond. We are excited to add them both to the Brewers family.”

The competitive balance draft pick is currently 34th overall.

The trade of Burnes and the decision to non-tender Brandon Woodruff, who remains a free agent, means the Brewers will enter the season without the two cornerstones of their rotation that helped them enjoy the franchise’s greatest run of sustained success.

Milwaukee’s decision to non-tender Woodruff came after he injured his shoulder shortly before the start of the 2023 playoffs, requiring him to undergo surgery that could cause him to miss the entire 2024 season.

Their departures mean that Freddy Peralta will head into the season as Milwaukee’s top starting pitcher. Peralta, a 2021 All-Star, went 12-10 with a 3.86 ERA and 210 strikeouts in 165 2/3 innings last season.

The Brewers also return Wade Miley and Colin Rea. They hope to get left-hander Aaron Ashby back after he missed the entire 2023 season with a shoulder injury.

Robert Gasser, one of the players acquired in the 2022 trade that sent star closer Josh Hader to San Diego, could be ready to compete for a spot in the rotation after going 9-1 with a 3.79 ERA for Triple-A Nashville this season.

Ortiz’s path toward playing time was complicated in Baltimore, since the Orioles also have last year’s Rookie of the Year Gunnar Henderson on the left side of their infield. And they can expect to add shortstop Jackson Holliday — baseball’s top-ranked prospect — in the near future.

The question now is whether the Orioles will be able to keep Burnes in Baltimore beyond this season. The day before acquiring him, the Orioles announced that Carlyle Group co-founder David Rubenstein had agreed to buy the team and become its new controlling owner, a move that could enable the franchise to spend more in the future.