During the Hot Stove radio show this week on WBAL Radio in Baltimore, Orioles assistant general manager Eve Rosenbaum discussed the club’s trade for ace pitcher Corbin Burnes.
While some media stories were focused on a possible addition of Dylan Cease this offseason, the Orioles were working for months behind the scenes to try and add Burnes, the 2021 National League Cy Young Award winner.
Rosenbaum said during her radio interview that Mike Elias and the O’s front office staff had to show some real patience during this process. Continuing to work on the deal and to keep the discussions ongoing even when there were times when it looked like such a trade would not happen.
“For something like a trade, so often what happens is you talk to teams for months,” Rosenbaum said on WBAL. “You send them a message, they text you back. You get with your group, you huddle up and craft a response and send a text message back. They get back to you two days later and it goes on and on like this.
“You try so many different ideas and so many different angles. At various points the past couple of months we thought, ‘the deal is alive, the deal is dead, the deal is alive, the deal is dead’ and finally we were able to get it across the finish line. You have to be in for the long haul when you are working on trades.”
Then they get to that finish line and have a brief time to be excited about what they added to the team while also noting the response from their fanbase too.
“Everyone is super pumped in the office and in the city. I’ve never seen it buzzing like this about a move. So, we are all super excited about it,” said Rosenbaum.
Burnes, 29, has played since the 2016 season for Milwaukee. They drafted him in round four of that 2016 draft from St. Mary’s College of California.
Now he has to learn what it’s like to join a new team.
“I think everyone is scared of change, you don’t know what’s coming,” Burnes said recently. “That could be both good and bad, depending on how you look at it. Personally, I’m looking at it as a good thing. There is a team in that division, the Tampa Bay Rays, I’ve never started against. I’ve only made one start against the Yankees. Maybe one against the Red Sox.
"It’s teams I have never faced before, so you have that unknown. But for me that’s exciting. It means I have to do more homework, watch more video, something I’ve enjoyed doing the last couple of years as I’ve learned how to become a better pitcher in the big leagues. I’ll be as prepared as anyone on the field.”
In 2023, Burnes went 10-8 with a 3.39 ERA over 193 2/3 innings. Over his last 14 starts of the year, he pitched to a 2.71 ERA with a 0.98 WHIP and allowed just a .553 OPS, with a 47.2 groundball rate. His ERA is 2.86 since the 2020 season.
Also during the radio show on Thursday night, O’s Hall of Famer Jim Palmer checked in with some thoughts on Burnes and how he might help once October baseball arrives.
“This is also somebody that if you do get to the playoffs, something the Orioles did last year with 101 wins, you have somebody that can match up in the playoffs. Along with Kyle Bradish, the way he pitched last year, you have two No. 1 starters,” Palmer said.