The New York Yankees have several competitors in the race to sign Japanese sensation Yoshinobu Yamamoto this offseason, but should they fail to beat out the pack, should they divert their attention to Milwaukee Brewers ace Corbin Burnes?
The Yankees Have the Arsenal to Make a Play for Corbin Burnes This Winter
The Brewers are not pressed to trade Burnes but could for the right price, which the Yankees have the proverbial wallet to spend on, according to MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand:
“Should Milwaukee try to move him now, an acquiring team would have to pay a steep price – namely controllable, young arms – since the Brewers aren’t in a position where they need to make a deal,” Feinsand said. “Teams that miss out on Yamamoto might turn to the trade market, where Burnes is the top option available.
Burnes is a versatile pitcher who lives up to his surname on the mound. He has led the MLB in ERA (2021) and strikeouts (2022), the former year of which he was named the NL Cy Young award winner.
Burnes is as competent, if not a more proven, option than Yamamoto for the Yankees to acquire, given his lengthy tenure in the big leagues against the best American hitters there are.
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A Prior Dispute Between Burnes and the Brewers a Caveat For the Yankees to Play on?
Prior to signing a one-year, $10.01 million deal with the Brewers prior to the start of the 2023 MLB campaign, Burnes voiced displeasure with the franchise undervaluing him and presenting an offer that was just under $1 million short of his asking price.
Around the time of a hearing that took place between Burnes and the Milwaukee brass, it was reported that a rift had surfaced between both parties due to the contractual dispute and alleged blame that the Brewers placed on Burnes for not leading the team to the postseason in 2022.
A mixture of these factors makes a departure likely, giving the Yankees a window of opportunity to capitalize and add another Cy Young-caliber pitcher next to Gerrit Cole. Burnes was able to deliver a third straight season with at least 200 strikeouts behind a 127 FIP and an NL-leading 1.069 WHIP.
Should the Yankees be able to reel Burnes in, they’d form a pitching staff with the stuff to get them to the World Series after failing to do so the last seven years in the Aaron Judge era.