As the MLB Winter Meetings wrap up today, reports have surfaced connecting two of the Milwaukee Brewers best players from 2023 to the National League West Division’s reigning champions, the Los Angeles Dodgers.
In a report published this morning, MLB insider Ken Rosenthal wrote that the Dodgers have their eye on right-handed starter Corbin Burnes as well as shortstop Willy Adames.
What I’m hearing…https://t.co/Gm16vTJKa3
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) December 6, 2023
“Burnes obviously would help fill the void in the Dodgers’ rotation, and Adames would give them a defensive upgrade at shortstop over Gavin Lux,” per Rosenthal. “A native of Kenosha, Wi., Lux could even go back to the Brewers in the trade and become the team’s second baseman, with Brice Turang moving to short.”
And Lux wasn’t the only player Rosenthal can see coming to the Brewers this offseason: he reported that the team has been evaluating a veteran shortstop who recently parted ways with the New York Yankees.
“Free agent Isiah Kiner-Falefa, 28, is something of a hot commodity, with the Marlins and Brewers among the teams showing interest,” Rosenthal reported. “Considering his age and versatility, a multi-year deal appears within reach.”
Milwaukee sports radio host Mike Heller described the potential trade as a “blockbuster.”
— Mike Heller (@HellerSports) December 6, 2023
Rumors of a Burnes, Adames Trade From the Milwaukee Brewers Have Been Swirling
Brewers fans have had some time to adjust to the possibility that the team will hit Opening Day without Burnes and/or Adames for some time. The two stars have been the center of trade speculation for weeks, as the Brewers evaluate whether to focus on winning next year or cashing in some of their most valuable assets to build in the future.
Recently, MLB reporter Jim Bowden reported that the pair had a “65% chance” of getting dealt this winter. But if the two are indeed on the move, the Brewers could be losing some considerable productivity.
Burnes made 32 starts last season, winning 10 games, sustaining a 3.39 ERA and racking up 200 strikeouts across 193.2 innings, making him by far the Brewers most productive starter. The 29-year-old appears to have plenty of production left and will likely command a major contract when he hits free agency next year. He sports a five-pitch repertoire that includes a lethal cutter and dominant curveball.
But the Brewers may be wise to part ways with him now, bringing some assets back rather than watching him walk away in free agency.
Adames seems a bit more replaceable, if only because starting pitching has such a premium in the MLB. The 28-year-old’s productivity has dipped since a stellar season at the plate in 2021, and he slashed .217/.310/.407 in 2023. For comparison, Kiner-Falefa hit .242/.306/.340 — less power, but more likely to get on base.
Adames seems to be grouped in with Burnes in trade rumors because he will hit his third year of arbitration in 2024 and is set to become an unrestricted free agent in 2025. The Brewers may be interested in locking a shortstop into a longer-term deal as they balance a win-now mentality with plans to build around outfielder Jackson Chourio, who just signed a record-breaking, eight-year deal before recording a single second of MLB service time.
What’s Next for the Milwaukee Brewers Trades?
After kicking off Winter Meetings with the biggest story of the offseason in their deal with Chourio, the Milwaukee Brewers were relatively quiet yesterday.
— Todd Rosiak (@Todd_Rosiak) December 6, 2023
“I think there’s a lot of things that are moving,” Brewers General Manager Matt Arnold told Todd Rosiak. “I don’t know whether they’re getting to the finish line… But I think there’s certainly a lot of activity right now. At least at our end.”
Whether the Brewers reach the finish line on a trade with the Los Angeles Dodgers or a slew of other potential deals remains to be seen, but it appears likely that the 2024 Opening Day roster will look quite different from the 2023 version.