Corbin Burnes, SP, Milwaukee Brewers
Corbin Burnes has been one of the premier starting pitchers in baseball over the last four years. Since the start of 2020, the 29-year-old has a 2.86 ERA and a 1.00 WHIP.
The Milwaukee Brewers ace has been among the best pitchers in accumulating strikeouts over the last four years, and only Zack Wheeler has more Wins Above Replacement than Burnes during the same period.
Burnes would represent a tremendous addition to the Phillies and give them a contender to be the top rotation in all of baseball next season headlined by Wheeler, Aaron Nola, and the 2021 National League Cy Young Award winner.
Milwaukee may be going through a retooling/rebuild phase following an early-round playoff exit to the Arizona Diamondbacks this year. Former manager Craig Counsell departed the organization in favor of the division rival Chicago Cubs. Burnes, who has a year left before free agency, may be traded at some point this winter or at the 2024 Trade Deadline if the Brewers are not a contender for the playoffs next season.
If Burnes is traded this offseason, the Brewers would want a lot for him. Unlike with a player such as Arozarena, the pitcher's lack of club control in his current contract (a year left before free agency) may impact how much Milwaukee receives in return, especially if he's traded at next season's deadline.
However, if the Phillies are interested in acquiring the starter this offseason, it would be more beneficial if they could sign him to a multi-year deal following a trade since they would be giving up considerable assets for him. The Brewers don't need more outfielders currently at the major league level and may be interested in acquiring young pitchers.
Cristopher Sánchez continued to show decent ability as a mid or bottom-of-the-rotation pitcher last year for the Phillies. He had a low 1.05 WHIP this year, along with 96 strikeouts in 99 1/3 innings. He had a 3.44 ERA and hitters combined for a .235 average against the left-hander.
Orion Kerkering earned quite the promotion to the Phillies toward the end of the regular season. He began last year with Philadelphia's Single-A affiliate, the Clearwater Threshers. He quickly worked his way up through the club's minor league system, debuting in the Majors on Sept. 24.
Third baseman Aidan Miller, Philadelphia's No. 4 prospect, excelled with the Florida Complex League Phillies, the organization's Rookie-level affiliate. He finished with a .414/.528/.483 slash line at this level and ended the season with the High-A Clearwater Threshers, where he had a .216/.341/.297 line.
A Phillies trade for Corbin Burnes could look like this:
Phillies receive: RHP Corbin Burnes
Brewers receive: LHP Cristopher Sánchez, RHP Orion Kerkering, RHP Mick Abel, 3B Aidan Miller
Philadelphia would be wise to hold off and see if they can acquire the right-hander at next year's Trade Deadline should he become available. The cost may be less than trading for him this offseason, weakening their farm system, which is not among the strongest to begin with. They could always decide to try and sign him if he reaches free agency next winter.
NEXT: A dark horse trade option from the Mariners.