With David Stearns locked in as the New York Mets President of Baseball Operations, it truly felt like Corbin Burnes to Queens was a dream that had a great shot at becoming a reality. The Milwaukee connection and Steve Cohen's money made Mets fans start drawing up potential mock trades for the right-hander.
Unfortunately, Burnes talks will presumably be put on hold throughout the league thanks to an injury to fellow all-star Brandon Woodruff whose 2024 season is in serious jeopardy. The Brewers will want to stay somewhat competitive, and them doing so without both Burnes and Woodruff would be very hard.
While the Brewers likely won't be seriously listening to any Burnes offer, there is the chance they can be pursuaded into completing a deal if the Mets give them something too tempting to pass up. The price has elevated no doubt, but it's still at a point the Mets can and should reach.
Poor rotation should make the NY Mets meet even higher Corbin Burnes price
Right now in the 2024 rotation, the Mets have Kodai Senga and Jose Quintana locked in. That's it. Guys like David Peterson, Tylor Megill, and Joey Lucchesi could make it, but they haven't earned spots outright.
With that in mind, the Mets need to make serious additions to the rotation if they want to compete next season. Some of that can be done through free agency with Yoshinobu Yamamoto presumably as their top target, but a trade for Burnes would take the pitching staff to a whole other level.
The Mets have the ability to overwhelm the Brewers with some of their talented prospects. A guy who I believe is one of, if not the best prospect in the entire Mets system is Jett Williams. The 19-year-old made it up to AA this season and had an .876 OPS overall. He's displayed an elite eye already to go along with his already-known blazing speed. Williams drew 104 walks this season while stealing 45 bases. He looks like a future leadoff hitter and can even make it up to the majors sometime next season.
Williams is the centerpiece to this deal, but Ronny Mauricio would be the most impactful player in the short-term. Mauricio had his cup of coffee in September with the Mets and showed a ton of flashes. He's obviously still quite raw, but you can see the power and speed potential everytime you watch him. He can step right in at third base once Josh Donaldson departs in the offseason.
Jose Butto is the final piece of the deal, and he can replace Burnes in the rotation. Obviously he's nowhere near as talented as Burnes, but he had a 3.29 ERA in five September starts for the Mets showing he could be a capable big league starter as soon as next season.
In this deal, the Mets are giving up their third and fourth-ranked prospects according to MLB Pipeline along with an MLB-ready pitcher in Butto in exchange for an expiring Corbin Burnes. Williams has the potential to be considered a true blue-chip prospect while Mauricio can be an impact MLB player right away.
It's a lot for New York to part with, but they did acquire several position player prospects and they have a full infield for the future even without those guys. Any offer including Williams for an expiring Burnes who there's a good chance they won't re-sign is one Milwaukee will listen to. Adding Mauricio and Butto should put it over the top.