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Can Corbin Burnes Drive The Orioles Into World Series Contention? Fantasy Baseball Outlook

Corbin Burnes - Fantasy Baseball Rankings, Draft Sleepers, MLB Injury News

Perhaps the biggest trade of the offseason has been completed as the Milwaukee Brewers, reigning NL Central champions, have traded ace Corbin Burnes to the Baltimore Orioles. In exchange, the O's sent shortstop prospect Joey Ortiz, left-hander DL Hall, and the 34th pick of the 2024 MLB Draft to the Brewers.

It's a monumental swap. The Brewers' elite starting rotation had been anchored by Burnes and fellow righty Brandon Woodruff over the last few seasons, both of which are no longer with the club.

Milwaukee still has their eyes set on a repeat in 2024 but their starting pitching has undoubtedly taken a big hit following Thursday night's swap. Let's break down the impact of this trade.

Be sure to check all of our fantasy baseball lineup tools and weekly lineup resources:

 

Can Corbin Burnes Drive The Orioles Into World Series Contention?

The Orioles may have been swept out of the ALDS by the eventual World Series champion Texas Rangers, but they also won 101 games and finished first in a wildly difficult American League East division in the 2023 season. They did so while employing a bunch of young players and remain chock-full of elite prospects, which allowed them to part with a young and promising Joey Ortiz as part of the return for Burnes.

The Orioles' path is clear. They are a force to be reckoned with right now and have positioned themselves as a long-term championship threat. Can Burnes be the guy that puts them over the top, even for the short term?

After all, the 29-year-old is set to hit free agency at season's end. Perhaps the Orioles gauged the return as light enough to grab Burnes and try and win it all in 2024. Given their roster situation, it's not a bad theory. Ortiz was likely pinched out by the potential superstars that Gunnar Henderson and Jackson Holliday will turn into. However, if they re-sign Burnes under new ownership, look out.

Burnes authored a 3.39 ERA and 17.1% K-BB% in 2023. A very fine season by most accounts, but he also posted a sub-3.00 ERA across each of his previous three seasons, maxing out at a 30.4% K-BB% in the 2021 campaign. He regressed in both the walk and strikeout rate departments in 2023.

Nonetheless, his fantasy stock rises with this deal. His win upside increases on what could be an elite Orioles team in 2024 and Burnes has taken the ball at least 32 times in each of the last two seasons. Don't be afraid to ride the workhouse to Maryland this spring.



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