What about Dylan Cease?
While Phillies fans may be frustrated they didn't land Burnes for the appallingly small haul given up by the Orioles, there could be good news tied to the lopsided nature of that deal.
Chicago White Sox star Dylan Cease is the other ace-caliber starting pitcher on the market, and his asking price to this point has been seemingly prohibitive.
The New York Post's Jon Heyman has said the south siders are asking for "the sun and the moon," in talks, including up to four of a team's top 10 prospects.
Cease is very good, but doesn't quite boast Burnes' track record. If Burnes can be landed for DL Hall and Joey Ortiz, teams now have added negotiating power in prying Cease away from the White Sox.
What could that look like for the Phillies? If it was on par with the Burnes deal, it would mean a hitter like Aiden Miller or Carlos De La Cruz, and a pitcher like Tommy McCollum. That's it. Even if the Sox asked for slightly more, the Phils should keep an open mind about dealing Griff McGarry or Símon Muzziotti, if it means landing Cease.
That said, no rumors have really connected the Phillies to Cease specifically, and the outcome of the Burnes deal could simply mean that someone with a firmly expressed pitching need like Atlanta, St. Louis, Cincinnati, or even the Dodgers will have less of a struggle in stealing Cease away.
Tightening market for Jordan Montgomery and Blake Snell
Even if the Phillies choose not to be players for Cease, the Burnes deal means that a major team has been removed from the starting pitching sweepstakes.
It's not clear to what degree the Orioles may have been involved in talks with Montgomery or Snell, if at all, before they pulled the trigger on Burnes. But the market for Snell, Montgomery, and even someone like Cody Bellinger is reliant on the domino effect of other moves. No one really did anything (other than the Phillies re-signing Aaron Nola) until the Dodgers signed Shohei Ohtani. And everything was hung up again until the Dodgers finalized their Yoshinobu Yamamoto deal.
Burnes is the latest piece to fall into place. Not only is the market for Snell and Montgomery now smaller, but the price may be going down, too. If one of the best pitchers in the game like Burnes can be purchased for two prospects (only one of whom is in MLB Pipeline's Top 100), the trade market might continue to be a more palatable alternative than overpaying for aces with question marks. At least to the extent that their price tag comes down.
And if their price tag comes down, the Phillies have been rumored to be ready to pounce.