After 101 wins last season, and a billion-dollar sale, the Baltimore Orioles are splashing.
The O’s reportedly acquired 2021 NL Cy Young Award winner Corbin Burnes from the Milwaukee Brewers.
Burnes has been one of the best pitchers in the game for years – since 2020, his 2.86 ERA is the lowest among pitchers with at least 500 innings pitched, and his 11.1 K/9 is the second-best mark in baseball.
In those four seasons, Burnes has finished sixth, first, seventh, and eighth in the NL Cy Young Award race.
Burnes has been named an All-Star in each of the last three seasons.
It’s a huge boost for a rotation that was rather pedestrian last season – O’s starters combined for a 4.11 ERA last season, which ranked 11th in the majors. Although, Kyle Bradish stepped up big time, lowering his ERA from 4.90 in his rookie season in 2022 to 2.83 last season. John Means is also slated for a full season after Tommy John surgery.
The Orioles won the division last year on the shoulders of 2023 Rookie of the Year Gunnar Henderson and 2022 runner-up Adley Rutschman. They also have baseball’s top prospect in Jackson Holliday in the wings, and he’s expected to be the team’s starting shortstop on Opening Day.
In return, the Brewers are getting shortstop prospect Joey Ortiz, left-handed reliever D.L. Hall, and the 34th pick in this year’s MLB Draft.
The trade comes two days after the news broke that John Angelos is selling the team for an estimated $1.725 billion to hedge fund owners David Rubenstein and Mike Arougheti. Cal Ripken Jr. is also set to be a part of the new ownership group.
Rubenstein and Arougheti are expected to initially buy 40% of the franchise before purchasing the remaining 60% at a later date. The estimated timetable for the deal to close remains unclear, but MLB owners will likely be briefed on the pending transaction during next week’s owner’s meetings.
Angelos bought the Orioles from venture capitalist Eli Jacobs for $173 million. He became incapacitated in recent years, prompting his son John to take over as the primary leader of the organization.
Milwaukee also non-tendered Brandon Woodruff earlier this offseason, so even after winning the NL Central by 9.0 games in 2023, they are turning heads with their rotation decisions.
However, they do still have Freddy Peralta and Wade Miley at the front of the rotation, and they did sign slugger Rhys Hoskins to a two-year deal earlier this offseason.
Fox News’ Chantz Martin contributed to this report.