Should the Braves have done this trade for Corbin Burnes?

MLB: AUG 23 Brewers at Dodgers

The MLB offseason has been painfully slow. Enough for questions to arise if measures should be taken to speed up the action, but that’s another story for another day. On Thursday night, we finally got a blockbuster trade that will shake up the baseball world, as the Orioles acquired Corbin Burnes from the Brewers.

Overnight, the Orioles have gone from an up-and-coming team that might have overachieved last year with a lot of promising young players to a legitimate World Series contender, and they might not be done.

Just a couple of days ago, it was announced that longtime Orioles owner Peter Angelos is selling the team for $1.725 billion dollars. Angelos was well-known for one thing, being cheap. This clearly signals a changing of the guard, and I expect the Orioles to continue to be aggressive in pursuit of a World Series now and in the years to come. Baltimore deserves it, but this isn’t about the Orioles. This is about what they gave up for Burnes, and whether the Braves should have considered something similar.

For Corbin Burnes, the Milwaukee Brewers received shortstop Joey Ortiz and left-handed pitcher DL Hall. The Brewers will also get the 34th pick in the upcoming draft. That’s quite a haul for a player that was set to leave Milwaukee in free agency at the end of the season.

Hall appeared in 18 games for the Orioles last season as a reliever at 24-years-old, putting up an impressive 3.00 FIP, 3.26 ERA, and 10.7 K/9. He’s major-league ready and will likely slide right into the Brewers rotation. Ortiz is another major-league ready piece that probably would have already seen significant action if he weren’t blocked by superior talent in Baltimore. He’s good defensively and has showcased a fantastic contact bat throughout the minors. It’s likely he’ll take over at shortstop sooner rather than later, depending on what the Brewers decide to do with Willy Adames, who is also a free agent at the end of the season.

For the Orioles, this trade makes a ton of sense. They have a disgustingly good farm system with a surplus of players to use in trades. Baltimore needed to add another frontline starter, and with new ownership, Burnes could be primed to finish his career in his new home.

A deal like this wouldn’t have made nearly as much sense for the Braves. They could have put together an even more enticing package, sending something like AJ Smith-Shawver and Vaughn Grissom to Milwaukee. However, the Braves weren’t going to strike a long-term deal with Burnes. Trading one of their top pitching prospects for a one-year rental would have had the future outlook of their rotation looking really bleak.

Instead, the Braves acquired two years of Chris Sale for Vaughn Grissom. The Red Sox are also covering nearly half of Sale’s salary. There’s no question it was the better of the two options. Sale has similar upside to Burnes, is guaranteed to be in Atlanta for two years, and they didn’t have to give up their top pitching prospect.

Am I jealous of the Orioles? Of course. They have a helluva future in front of them that should excite the entire city, but the Braves made the right move given their situation, and these two teams could meet up several times for all the marbles in the near future.

Photo: Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire

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