Dreams of New York Mets President of Baseball Operations David Stearns having the desire to reunite with Corbin Burnes via trade this offseason may have taken a major hit. It has nothing to do with Stearns or Burnes and everything to do with fellow Brewers pitcher, Brandon Woodruff.
The "other" Brewers pitcher who has dazzled in Milwaukee will miss all of 2024. Victimized by shoulder surgery, the most obvious trade target for what the Mets feels more likely to stay put.
Without Woodruff, are the Brewers going to go down the path of subtracting Burnes? It's punting on the 20 yard line with a roster still very capable of winning in 2024.
The Mets will need to look beyond Corbin Burnes for an ace
There's no definitive answer to what the Brewers have in mind with this latest blow to their rotation. Mets fans can only hope this piece of rotten news has Milwaukee beginning a rebuild. After all, we all assume Craig Counsell will leave for New York.
Burnes is already a free agent after next season and so are other important pieces, including Woodruff. They're not a young up-and-coming ball club and yet they have plenty of youth where they could conceivably trade what they can this winter to reload for 2025.
Burnes' place in Milwaukee was never questioned more than when the team took him to arbitration last offseason. The 2021 Cy Young winner immediately became one of those players teams like the Mets added to their wish list. An extension for him, likely topping $100 million at this point, may be too rich for the Brewers who tend to stay on the lower side of the payroll median.
The Woodruff injury shouldn't stop Stearns or whoever he hires as the general manager from calling the Brewers in early November to inquire anyway. Starting pitching of his caliber is never easy to find. He’s a trade and extend candidate. Will it be the Mets who make it happen?