Brewers ace Corbin Burnes was one of several recent players to speak publicly about the arbitration process, voicing some disappointment last month in some aspects of the team’s approach to the trial. Burnes has now enlisted the Boras Corporation as his new representation moving forward, Jon Heyman of the New York Post reports (via Twitter).
Asked directly last month whether his relationship with the team had been damaged at all, Burnes candidly acknowledged that it had been to some extent, and that there was “really no getting around that.” Given his likely price tag on the open market, the former Cy Young winner was already a long-shot extension candidate for the Brewers, and the shift in representation won’t change that perception. The Boras Corporation has a reputation for pushing its players to reach the open market, though there are plenty of notable exceptions in recent years. Xander Bogaerts, Lance McCullers Jr., Jose Altuve, Stephen Strasburg and Chris Paddack are all Boras clients who signed multi-year extensions that pushed back their respective paths to free agency.
The Brewers are entering the 2023 season intent on contending for the playoffs and, even after trading Hunter Renfroe and Kolten Wong this offseason, reportedly made clear to other clubs that stars like Burnes, Brandon Woodruff and Willy Adames were unavailable. Their first half will be one to watch closely. If Milwaukee falls out of contention, that trio will figure to all resurface in trade rumblings, given their relative proximity to free agency.
Each of Burnes, Woodruff and Adames is controllable only through the 2024 campaign. (Ditto Eric Lauer, Rowdy Tellez, Matt Bush and Adrian Houser.) Milwaukee probably wouldn’t aggressively shop that group, but the Brewers did make a tough call by trading Josh Hader when he had just a season and a half of club control remaining last summer. If nothing else, teams will be trying to pry some of that talent away from Milwaukee if the Brewers indeed drop out of the postseason race before this year’s trade deadline.
Turning to more immediate matters, the Brewers have some key personnel decisions looming in the near future. Last week, I outlined the dilemma they’re facing regarding Keston Hiura and their right-handed-hitting bench depth, and GM Matt Arnold touched on the situation yesterday (link via Todd Rosiak of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel). Hiura and non-roster invitee Luke Voit are competing for a similar role with the Brewers, and Arnold acknowledged that the club has some “tough decisions” to make. Arnold praised the “tremendous job” Voit has done so far in camp, noting that he’s done “everything he can possibly do” to make the club.
The 32-year-old Voit has indeed impressed, hitting .316/.333/.526 with a pair of homers — albeit with an ugly 11-to-1 K/BB ratio in 39 plate appearances. Hiura is hitting .156/.229/.219 with a 42.9% strikeout rate (15 punchouts in 35 plate appearances). Arnold praised the “electricity” in Hiura’s bat and touted the upside he’s flashed in the past, but the former first-round pick and top prospect is out of minor league options hasn’t performed with much consistency in recent years. Since his outstanding rookie season, Hiura’s strikeout woes have climbed, and he’s lost his grip on a regular spot in the lineup.
Voit had an opt-out clause in his minor league contract last week but agreed to push the date on that back to this Friday. The decision on whether to select him is in many ways linked to Hiura and perhaps to fellow right-handed-hitting bench options like Mike Brosseau and Owen Miller. Without mentioning specific names, Arnold seemingly acknowledged as much, stating: “…a lot of this comes down to not just [Voit], but the people around him and how this all works together is so important.” Both Brosseau and Miller offer more defensive versatility than Voit and Hiura, but both have minor league options remaining as well.
In the bullpen, the Brewers are continuing to narrow the competition. They optioned righties Jake Cousins and Elvis Peguero to Triple-A Nashville yesterday, but manager Craig Counsell made clear that both are squarely in the team’s 2023 plans (link via MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy).
“Jake and Peguero, those guys are going to definitely pitch for us,” Counsell said, adding that the calls could come early in the season if needed. Cousins has been impressive in brief looks over the past two seasons, showing huge ability to miss bats but also some worrying command issues. Peguero, acquired from the Angels in the previously mentioned Renfroe swap, fanned 11 of 35 hitters (31.4%) this spring but was always at risk of being sent out given the number of out-of-options arms the Brewers are currently rostering.
None of Houser, Joel Payamps, Javy Guerra, Bryse Wilson or Bush can be optioned to the minors. The only optionable members of the bullpen are closer Devin Williams, setup man Peter Strzelecki and southpaw Hoby Milner, but all three (Williams in particular, of course) are generally locked into spots, as are Bush and Houser.
This season is going to be one of the most critical ones in franchise history. A lot of money is going to be owed to some big stars soon that the brewers won’t be able to afford. A lot of brewer fans are not going to enjoy the day Burnes/Woody/Adames potentially leave.
Of the 3, I think Woody is the most likely to stay/take a bit of a discount. I won’t say it’s extremely likely, just more so than the other 2. Burnes was essentially on his way out as soon as he won the CY. And Willy is now seeing huge dollar signs after the big 4 SS signed this winter.
I agree that Woody is most likely to be extended of the three, but I don’t see him taking a big discount. I would still be in favor of it though because even if the Crew are stumbling down the path to suck, they would still have an opening day starter for a few seasons and a name that fans recognize. If the team somehow stays in legit contention, you need him anyway.
It’s too late to extend any of the 3 people talk about extending. All 3 will test the FA market. Besides Brewers need the payroll to extend these special OFs that are starting their career this year.
No different than when we traded Lucroy, Greinke, Carlos Lee, Nelson Cruz, Josh Hader (and on and on etc)
Part of being small market. It’s all about getting the max value back and making the reload as quick as possible.
Will I be sad to see those guys go? Sure, but all 3 will net multiple top prospects coming back to us. The brewers have NEVER been in a position where they can unload 3 players and instantly have one of the best farm systems in MLB.
So bring on the trades because they will set us up for the late 2020s and multiple runs again.
The Brewers are currently in a ‘Rebuild on the fly’.
For sure Burnes goes, but they’ll get a lot less for him with Boras as his agent. I think they pay Woodruff, and try to keep Adames if they can get maybe a 2-3 year extension with him – the issue at SS will be if Brice Turang shows he can play SS at the ML level – his natural position – or if he needs to be at 2B permanently.
They have the young OF’s, C, and a group of young veteran pitchers that still can get better. The veterans they trade will bring back prospects to fill the open areas, and they still have prospects that will be coming up later in 2023 and 2024.
The Brewers players quit in 2022, they should have been in the playoffs. They need the youngsters to take over as soon a s possible, too many people still on the roster don’t have the heart needed to fight through obstacles and be a part of an elite, contending team.
Rebuilding on the fly never actually works.
Like the Guardians taking the Yankees to 5 games in the 2nd round playoffs last year and having so many more quality young players this year that they can’t fit them all on the ML roster…..and many of those players will be getting better for years.
Making the playoffs because your division is trash and getting bounced in the division series isn’t “working.” There is a reason my father wasn’t even born yet the last time the Guardians won the WS.
You’re a troll that knows very little about how MLB teams are built, how players are developed and brought along, and how then game is played on the field. You don’t want to discuss or acknowledge any other persons point of view or grow out of your basement knowledge.
Apparently you OD’d on entitlement in school.
You really believe that this roster of Milwaukee Brewers can get to the WS in 2023?
I doubt anyone employed by the Brewers in any capacity actually believes that.
You’re the reason the Mute button was created.
Bragging about muting whether you actually do it or not is more than just a little ridiculous. You probably check this page from an alt that doesn’t have me muted so…
Yes, I do believe the Brewers can get to the WS in 2023. No one believed the Phillies would make it to the WS 365 days ago. Heck, no one believed the Phillies would make it to the WS 6 months ago. The Brewers are good enough as constructed to win that division and once you make it to the postseason anything can happen. And I assure you every single person employed by the Brewers believes they have a shot in 2023.
I forget more about baseball when I sneeze than you will ever know.
“You really believe that this roster of Philadelphia Phillies can get to the WS in 2022? LOL! They need to trade Aaron Nola, Rhys Hoskins and Zack Wheeler right now! TROLL! MUTED!”
– Probably Samuel a year ago.
You’re creepy and everything you said is a projection of your own psychological issues.
With Boras having signed on to represent Corbin Burnes, there are only 2 possible headlines next season:
1) Boras burns the competition and gets 29 year old Corbin Burnes a record setting 10 year, $330M contract with an opt out after 2027.
2) Burnes gets burned by Boras and has to settle for a one year, $20M contract with the Brewers’ arch rival Chicago Cubs.
I wanted to be that guy and post, Wow! But nah brah!
The Brew Crew is in a tough spot. Burnes will most likely be dealt at the trade deadline to a contender. It happened last year with Hader, who was a mess at first. But, having your 1st baby can be stressful. Burnes now being with Boras is the worst! The Padres do have a great relationship with him though, sooo Burnes in the Brown and Gold!
Voit will land on his feet somewhere if not on their 40 man. He’s hitting .316 with 2 jacks this Spring, somebody needs him!
Voit is WAY past the age of having options left. He can’t make the Brewer’s 40 man. To remain with the team he must be on the 26. Which he deserves. It’s finally time to cut Hiura, much as I’ve always hoped he’d figure it out.
Age has nothing to do with a player having options. Voit DOES have options. He can be added to the 40 man then optioned to the minors.
i think what he meant by age was his service time which i think is at 5 years
Burnes will only be traded if the Brewers are out of the race. He’s their best player exact maybe Adames right now.
except* maybe Adames
Voit is the kind of player that a lot of teams think is replaceable. Yes, when he’s on, he can hit, but he’s not useful in the field and a lot of guys can hit when they are on. The market he found this offseason makes sense for his skill set. I think he’ll get more chances, but he made 5.4M last year. Is he worth that kind of money?
He has a career 124 OPS+, and he’s never had a season below league average hitting. Most hitters can’t do that, hence he’ll keep getting chances.
this. while he is flawed, he can also mash. he may not be valued at all that much, but he doesnt cost much either, and there are 30 teams with a DH slot in the lineup every day so he will continue to be given the opportunity to mash
adell still has option years and the angels were smart enough to realize they needed four major league outfielders (yes, im counting brett phillips) above him because he isnt ready, and now mickey moniak and quite possibly jordyn adams(check the spring numbers) have played their ways above him as far as depth outfielders go for them, too.
Adell? Where did that come from?
woah, my comment jumped. someone commented comparing adell to hiura elsewhere on the thread, and this was meant to be in response to him
If Brosseau gets optioned after the spring he’s had I will be so peeved.
Don’t worry. He was a solid guy last year replacing Jace. With the injury to Taylor, the Crew will have to turn to Anderon in RF (Naquin is not a guy you want playing a lot).
Which means Bross will be the starter at 3B to open the season (Urias at 2B).
Even if people return to their positions, he has a chance to win the spot before they get back and at worst will return to his super utility role.
So will Yellich, Brosseau is his housemate/roommate
5 HR and .400 Avg. in Spring Training hopefully keeps him on the big league club.
Time for the Brewers to give up on Hiura. I don’t want to hear one more thing about potential. It’s not working out with this guy so cut him loose. Also, Brewers better send Burnes an apology card since he got his teensy weency little feelings hurt.
Hiura is the Brewers’ version of Jo Adell. How many times have you read sentences like, “The Brewers hope that Keston Hiura ___________.” Or, “If Hiura can__________, then __________. His 42% K rate this spring tells us plainly that he still hasn’t figured it out. Time to move on.
They gave the guy chance after chance and it’s just not going to work out. Gotta try something else.
It’s just shocking that they keep hanging on to him for this long.
I guess he must have trade value. Probably gone right before the season begins.
His window has slammed shut.
Think both Voit and Huira will be gone, with Huira possibly making it through waivers. He needs a change of scenery or put at AA Biloxi to work with Chuck Caufield. Get rid of the launch angle in his swing. Naquin isn’t worth having on the team. Go with the young guys and work Yellich in on learning first( which he was drafted at). Burnes is pretty much going to be gone at some point. Which it is what it is but you gotta get a damn good return for him. A heckuva a lot better then what we got for Hader. Resign Woodruff is a must. Lauer will be traded to at some point partly because of his voicing dislike for the FO too.
Voit is a lock. Restructuring his release date and the Brewers agreeing to that all but assures that they wanted to take a deeper look at him. And he mashed that very day. And a couple since.
Well, Javy Guerra made the reliever decision easier yesterday. That was plain ugly. Brosseau has had a strong spring and looks great. He needs to stick. I’m leaning towards Voit over Hiura at this point. That Weimer kid sure looks the part!
It would not shock me if Burnes is dealt at the deadline even if the Brewers are in contention.
That would be stupid.
I don’t disagree but I can 100% see them doing it.
For real. When has that EVER worked out?
Not typically, but they traded Hader last year to a team they were in contention with for a playoff spot, so I don’t really put anything past them.
That was under Stearns who is not there anymore. I think they know better now.
Even though Arnold was mentored by Stearns and will probably manage the roster in almost exactly the same way?
He’s his own man. Also, he is allowed to learn from his predecessor’s mistakes.
Hader trade was the best trade ever… For the padres. Love him pitching for us and not against us
Good trade for the Brewers too. They got William Contreras, Joel Payamps and Robert Gasser out of it.
I foresee a ’98 Marlins-esque fire sale next winter (possibly even this summer if the team is out of the race at the deadline).
If the team is out of it by this summer it’s because 2 or 3 SPs(Burnes, Woodruff, Peralta, Ashby) didn’t make it to July without required TJ surgery. GL with trading guys not able to play for 1+year. The Pitching makes the team .500 alone. They’ve improved an offense that was 10th in baseball last year.
Then next winter
I think it’s a given that Burnes and Adames will be traded after this season. But unless the season goes completely in the crapper, they won’t be traded at the deadline.
I’ll be a billionaire if the Brewers are out of contention by the All Star break!!! I have NO idea – ok, all the alarmists talking about how the Brewers have to trade the players already mentioned on this blog and the Hader trade from last year.
Still, this team is going to KICK butt this year, most of the so-called experts have them as the 7th team in MLB standings, 6 go to the playoffs. Brewers will make the top 6 and are playoff-bound. Additions, Winkler, Anderson, Miley, Contreras, young guys like Turang, Frelick not to mention Mitchelll and oh …..that starting rotation. Brewers = 91-93 wins.
NO Idea why SO, many people think the Brewers are in a fire sale! They are not! Yes, after 2023, they’ll get some big time prospects – as was mentioned here and many will be pitchers to add on to next years of, at the VERY least: Peralta, Ashby, Gasser, either Lauer or the aforementioned Woodruff, who, I believe as others do. will be the 1 out of the 3 (Burnes, Adames) that will be signed.
Don’t forget Miserouski too for pitching soon too. Then you got Robinson and Uribe for bullpen. I think k this team will be very competitive for years to come.
Guess we will find out what Matt Arnold is capable of. For all the good things Sterns did for the Brewers, he kind of left them in shambles. Very Theo Epstein-ish.
Please – the Brewers are hardly in shambles.
The Brewers new core is starting to matriculate from the minors this year. Some veterans (that quit in 2022) need to be moved out to bring in even more youngsters to add to that core. The payroll will be brought down as those youngsters take over (why they’ll have money to pay Woodruff as well as some of their young veteran pitchers that deserve raises), and as those youngers establish themselves and get better there will be room to raise the overall team payroll and pay those players.
Perhaps shambles was a bit dramatic
How did Stearns leave the Brewers in Shambles? They missed the playoffs by 1 game. He spent 2.6 seasons of Hader trade rumors and he finally does it and he left the team in shambles? He certainly affected the stretch run after the deadline, but the return looks promising additions with immediate long term help towards the team beyond 2022. There are 3 1st rd picks joining the team this season at prime up the middle positions. They have a top 10prospect in all of baseball expected to be a Star.
well that settles the Burns extension talks, Boras clients have always been to expensive, If I were Milwaukee, I would shop him right now and utilize your young staff in AAA. Get the biggest haul before the trade deadline when teams know your wanting to unload players, I would lock up Woody long term, trade Adames, fill in spots with your controllable young major league talent. Burns has fired the first shot across the bow, and by highering Boras group has told you he would be leaving.
Why would they trade their 2 best players when they are trying to contend????
Because they’re not going to give up the next 3-5 years on the chance that they can win in 2023. Do your really think they’re better than the Braves, Phillies, Mets, Dodgers, Padres….and a few others?
The young OF’s and C they have can become major stars to build the position player part of teh roster for years. But those players are not peaking in 2023. Guys such as Winkler, Anderson, Tellez and Urias are decent ML players that can help a team and bridge a gap for the Brewers as the youngsters adapt to ML play. But they’re hardly cornerstone impact players.
“Because they’re not going to give up the next 3-5 years on the chance that they can win in 2023.”
Well sure they will. Flags fly forever.
“Do your really think they’re better than the Braves, Phillies, Mets, Dodgers, Padres….and a few others?”
Do you really think the Phillies were better than the Padres, Braves, Mets and Dodgers last year?
You have no clue about the Brewers situation. You’re just chomping at the bit to see the team trade off players that are exciting for baseball with the slimmest of hopes that those players land on your team.
The future is solid standing on its own right now. There’s plenty of talent upcoming to use when needed to fill positions that aren’t as sound in the future. Team really only needs a solid 1b and 1 more top of the rotation SP in the minors to field a team equal or better than the Brewers have been starting on the field in the last 4 years.
B I N G O !
I watch a lot of games on MLB.TV (usually 2-3 at a time).
What you don’t get his this – MLB is a playoff league. Teams don’t cross their fingers and hope to “get hot” during the stretch run and the playoffs. Coaches have to bring players along during the season, and the manager/FO have to have a roster of players with value in what different areas and can be deployed in crunch time.
I don’t view players such as Winkler, Anderson, Tellez and Urias as a part of a core leading a team to the WS. I see them as veterans that can help the team in 2023 to be competitive. But they all have too many shortcomings in their game to compete when the going gets tough in August-Sept-Oct.
I see the Brewers having 2 extremely good starting pitchers for your Rotisserie League team. They don’t really have a closer – Devin Williams is a terrific set-up guy (and Matt Bush is hardly consistent enough to be the a primary set-up guy). I see Willy Adames as a team leader and solid MLB SS that plays well in the clutch when healthy). I see William Contreras as a quality C – after the coaching staff works with him on his D, handing of a pitching staff and running games. I think he’ll improve a lot in 2023. But I doubt he’ll be anywhere near what he’ll be in the next 3-5 years. I see a lot of quality young OF’s that need time to adjust to ML play – like Contreras it’s tough to count on them as being a part of an all-in team in 2023. Short of that I see a bunch of veteran placeholders with the position players. Back to the pitching – there are a lot of young veteran starters behind the top 2 that should continue to get better over the next few years. It appears one is going to the bullpen which is a good thing – because their bullpen depth will not survive a season….let along peak at the end of the year.
Each year I follow around 5-7 teams closely. I see them build up over a few years to be solid contenders. I don’t care if the Brewers trade one of their 3 top guys to one of those teams. They’ll do what they do. Going into this year I’ll be starting by watching the Orioles, Guardians, Rays, Phillies, Astros, and Angels. I primarily love watching the small market teams as they have to play consistent and strong fundamental baseball. There Brewers are no where near the Orioles, Guardians, and Rays in the number of quality young players for 2023 that grew in 2022 and will continue to grow for years.
They’re not trading their 2 best players while they are trying to contend. It’s not happening.
Or maybe they keep the nucleus together 2 seasons and win 1 or 2 WS out of it. There massive talent being added to the team over the next 2 seasons.
Burnes is showing a thin skin if he believes his relationship with the team is damaged. The arbitration process is literally having to sit in a room and listen to your employer tear you down and justify why they shouldn’t have to pay you what you are asking for. That’s the ugly side of the business; listening to the same people that praise your performance all season long point out all your flaws to save some money…
Burnes didn’t have the heart in the stretch run in 2022, being a part of a team that refused to win the playoff spot that should have been theirs.
He had a unique reaction to his arbitration case – many quality MLB players lost their arbitration cases, yet he’s the only guy that took business personally. His public comments can probably be broken down by a learned mental health professional such as a psychiatrist, but not being one I can only look to that writer – what’s his name? – that didn’t follow professional sports or arbitration processes, but knew human nature. In one if his writings one character said to another: “The lady doth protest too much, methinks”.
One of the 2 A’s Fans here and BrewCrew should trade Hiura straight up for Pache. 2 guys out of options that fill needs for each team. Nice 4th OFer for Milwaukee and Oakland sans Las Vegas gets a Utility/DH type bat
why would the brewers trade for a 4th outfielder? they have 3 outfielders in the top 100 prospects, 2 of which are ready for the majors. if they trade hiura it will be for a reliever.
Agreed. Should have tried to include him in a deal for Puk.
The Brewers have 7 ML OFs at their disposal right now. Yelich, Winker, Taylor, Mitchell, Frelick, Wiemer, Perkins, and if you squint Anderson, Hiura, Turang as deeep depth you hope aren’t needed.
Owen Miller in CF as well.
I don’t understand why Strzelecki is a lock. If he has an option, use it until one of the guys without options fails.
Were they really in contention last year when they moved Hader? I mean they weren’t out of the race, but who believed they had a real chance in October even if they got in? I think they saw a major slide starting with Hader and took what they could get, rather than wait til the off-season when a) he only had 1 year left and b) he may have lost most of his value by stinking it up down the stretch.
The fact that so many players cried over it and their play suffered is on them, not management.
However, if they’re truly in contention this year at the deadline, no way they pull a move like that again. Whoever is left won’t just cry and play half-azzed, they might actually refuse to play for a few games in protest.
“Were they really in contention last year when they moved Hader?”
“I mean they weren’t out of the race, but who believed they had a real chance in October even if they got in?”
Same people who thought the Phillies had a real chance. Same people who thought the Giants had a real chance in 2014. Same people who thought the Rockies had a real chance in 2007. Same people who thought the Cardinals had a real chance in 2006.
Burnes previously represented by CAA Sports