Yankees were ‘engaged’ on star pitcher before Orioles swept in

mlb: washington nationals at milwaukee brewers, yankees, corbin burnes
Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees clearly understand that their starting rotation could use more reinforcements. They considered adding Blake Snell, and according to Andy Martino of SNY, they were engaged with the Milwaukee Brewers regarding Corbin Burnes.

Unfortunately, Burnes ended up going to the Baltimore Orioles, returning two players and a draft selection in exchange. However, the Yankees decided that the package Milwaukee wanted was too hefty, despite the fact that most believed what the Orioles gave up was considered a steal.

“They were, they did try to get Corbin Burnes,” Martino said. “They were disappointed that they didn’t but I don’t have the players or the trade package that was discussed. I wish I could tell you that. But I do know that the Yankees felt like ‘Woah that is too much’ and the next thing they knew he was a Baltimore Oriole and they didn’t get too far down the tracks. Unfortunate for the Yankees.”

Missed Opportunity with Burnes

Landing Burnes would’ve changed everything for the Yankees’ starting rotation. At 29 years old, Burnes is headed into the final year of arbitration but is a bonafide ace. He has pitched a minimum of 167 innings over the past three consecutive years, posting a 3.39 ERA this past campaign over 193.2 innings. He also recorded a 74.9% left-on-base rate, 44.1% ground ball rate, and 9.30 strikeouts per nine. His best season came back in 2021 with a minimum of 100 innings pitched, hosting a 2.43 ERA.

The Yankees are banking on Carlos Rodon and Nesta Cortes to bounce back from injury, but Burnes would’ve taken the number two spot in the rotation with ease, pushing Rodon down a bit and opening things up for the number five spot between Cortes, Clarke Schmidt, and Marcus Stroman.

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Yankees Continue to Search for Pitching Solutions

Based on the fact the Yankees were engaged on Burnes should be a sign that they are still eyeing potential improvements in the pitching department.

They acquired Caleb Ferguson on Monday morning, reinforcing their bullpen with a lefty arm. The team is taking steps in the right direction but is likely still missing that one big piece in the rotation. Nonetheless, it is evident that they feel pressure the same way the fans do, and they know the rotation has a few major concerns, notably depending on injured players to bounce back and have a big 2024 season.