Orioles Acquire Corbin Burnes, Shift Futures Markets

Baltimore acquired the former NL Cy Young winner in a blockbuster trade and instantly solidified themselves as contenders

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Orioles Land Ace In Blockbuster

On Thursday February 1, it was announced that the Baltimore Orioles acquired former NL Cy Young winner Corbin Burnes from the Milwaukee Brewers in exchange for infield prospect Joey Ortiz, pitcher D.L. Hall and the 34th pick in the 2024 MLB Draft. 

Two weeks before Spring Training, this blockbuster move shook the entire league and instantly fortified the Orioles as a contender in the American League.

Owed $15.6 million for the 2024 season, Burnes will only be under Orioles control for one year guaranteed before he hits free agency. Both Ortiz and Hall will be under Brewers control for six seasons.

Coming off a 10-8 campaign in which he posted a 3.39 ERA with 200 strikeouts and 66 walks in 193.2 innings over 32 starts, Burnes immediately became the ace in a rotation that also will contain last year’s breakout hurler Kyle Bradish, promising youngster Grayson Rodriguez, former All-Star John Means and the reliable Tyler Wells. 

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From Contenders To... More Serious Contenders

In 2021, Burnes won the NL Cy Young by posting an 11-5 record and 2.43 ERA with 234 strikeouts in 167.0 innings (28 starts) and in 2022, he went 12-8 with a 2.94 ERA with 243 strikeouts in 202.0 innings (33 starts). 

25-year-old Ortiz spent all 88 games of his 2023 season at Triple-A Norfolk, slashing .321/.378/.507 with nine home runs, 58 RBI, 30 doubles, 66 runs scored and 11 stolen bases. He’s regarded as a mid-level prospect who could emerge as a Major League caliber middle infielder. 

Hall went 3-0 with a 3.26 ERA as a reliever in the Majors last season and the 25-year-old southpaw also spent most of his time in Triple-A, posting a 3.98 ERA in 52.0 innings over 19 appearances (12 starts). I expect him to be in Milwaukee’s starting rotation this year.

This move signals that the Orioles are in win-now mode while the Brewers are committed to a rebuild and had no intention on shelling out the large contract Burnes will command on the open market next offseason.

When factoring in the promising young core that the Orioles have in Adley Rutschman, Gunnar Henderson and Jackson Holliday to go along with other dangerous hitters like Anthony Santander, Cedric Mullins, Austin Hays, Ryan O’Hearn and more, it’s very difficult not to love Baltimore’s outlook heading into 2024.

Per BetMGM, Baltimore’s futures odds moved before and after the big trade. The O’s to win the World Series moved from +1600 to +1400, to win the American League pennant moved from +800 to +650 and to win the AL East moved from +280 to +250. 

I liked Baltimore to take the next step before the trade, but now I absolutely view them as the best overall team in the American League. While they likely need to make a few more moves to become as dangerous as the Dodgers out west, this was the move of a hungry organization that wants to win right now, which is exactly what you want to see as a futures bettor.

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