More with Elias and the ace pitcher he traded for to lead the rotation

Mike-Elias-smile

Orioles executive vice president/general manager Mike Elias disagreed when a reporter suggested yesterday that his acquisition of ace pitcher Corbin Burnes from the Brewers may represent a shift in the O's organization.

Where once the O’s seemed reluctant to part with prospects, this time they traded two of them and a draft pick to get the 2021 National League Cy Young Award winner.

“I don’t see it that way whatsoever,” said Elias. “The methods that we have applied to rebuild the team, are being applied with all our decision making in baseball operations. The whole time, even when our team was losing a lot of games, I was talking about making decisions oriented toward enhancing our playoff possibilities. And at that time, our playoff possibilities were in the future, and now we’ve won the AL East. That front loads a lot of stuff into the present, but we’re still going to keep an eye on the future to keep the organization healthy.

“The Brewers have a good team, too, and they decided this was a trade they wanted to do. It made sense for them and is going to help their team in a different way. We’re trying to make good quality moves which give us good chances to do what we want to do."

And to be fair, Elias did trade prospects last year, once before the year to add Cole Irvin and at the trade deadline to get Jack Flaherty. It's just this time he got the most talented of that group and a pitcher to front his rotation with massive credentials. 

Continue reading
  0 Comments
0 Comments

New Oriole Corbin Burnes on trade, his new team and possible contract extension talks

Corbin Burnes Brewers white 2

After feeling some initial shock when he was told he was going to be traded, new Orioles right-hander Corbin Burnes is now starting to let the big news in his world settle in now.

After six seasons, 167 games, a Cy Young Award, five playoff appearances and three division titles – all with the Brewers – he’s about to get know new players and a new organization.

“Initial reaction, just shock,” Burnes was honest to tell Baltimore media during a team Zoom call this afternoon. “Being so close to spring training and what had gone down the last couple of weeks in Milwaukee, was definitely shocked, got the call from the GM and kind of set off a flurry of calls after that.

“But excited to be part of the Baltimore organization. Having won over 100 games last year it’s a good young group. I’m looking to kind of put my mark and do whatever I can to help those guys get to the World Series.”

The 2021 National League Cy Young winner got off to a bit of slow start last season. Then he posted an ERA of 2.71 his last 14 starts to finish 10-8 with a 3.39 ERA. He led the NL in WHIP at 1.069 and his .200 average against was second in the league. Since 2020, his ERA of 2.86 produces an ERA+ of 146.

Continue reading
  0 Comments
0 Comments

Mike Elias on the trade: "Corbin Burnes is exactly what we needed"

GettyImages-1715798589

Calling it a “big moment for our team,” Orioles executive vice president/general manager Mike Elias, via Zoom call with the media today, discussed the acquisition of right-hander Corbin Burnes from the Brewers.

Elias said trade talks with the Brewers have been ongoing since just after the World Series ended. He wasn’t sure if Milwaukee would actually deal the 2021 National League Cy Young Award winner. But the trade was finalized last night as the Orioles sent lefty DL Hall, infielder Joey Ortiz and the No. 34 pick in the 2024 MLB Draft to the Brewers get Burnes.

The 29-year-old three-time All-Star and 2022 NL strikeout leader went 10-8 with a 3.39 ERA in 32 starts in 2023. He had an ERA of 2.43 in winning the ’21 Cy Young and has a career 3.26 ERA and 1.055 WHIP.

Since the 2020 season, he has finished, in order, sixth, first, seventh and eighth in the Cy Young voting while pitching to an ERA of 2.86 in that span. That is an ERA+ of 146.

“This is a big trade and big moment for our team,” Elias told reporters. “Corbin Burnes is exactly what we needed. We were in a dogged pursuit of him the entire offseason.

Continue reading
  0 Comments
0 Comments

A few thoughts on Burnes trade

Corbin Burnes Brewers white 3

We entered the month of February exactly two weeks away from the Orioles’ first workout for pitchers and catchers. The most recent transaction was their minor league deal with first baseman-turned-pitcher Ronald Guzmán, two days after the minor league deal with outfielder Daniel Johnson. The last major league move was the trade for corner infielder Tyler Nevin on Jan. 22 that left the 40-man roster with 39 players.

Closer Craig Kimbrel was the undisputed champion of impact additions with his signing at the Winter Meetings to a contract that guarantees $13 million and includes a club option for 2025.

Time remained, but teams holding aces weren’t folding to the pressure to trade them.

And then, it happened.

The Orioles defied the predictions and acquired a starter who fit at the top of the rotation. Not a middle-to-back-end arm. A former Cy Young Award winner, a three-time All-Star and one of the best pitchers in baseball.

Continue reading
  0 Comments
0 Comments

A good rotation gets better as O's add right-hander Corbin Burnes

Corbin Burnes

Outside of the excitement over the weekend of Birdland Caravan, the new ownership group news and getting an ace pitcher, anything else going on around Birdland lately?

The Orioles rotation, which was pretty good most of last year and very good in the second half, just got better for the 2024 season. Last October, it was the Rangers who had Nathan Eovaldi as a difference maker. The O’s hope Corbin Burnes could be that guy this October.

You don’t see legit aces traded very often, but Milwaukee pulled the trigger on a move that hurt them in ’24 but may be big for their future as they add lefty DL Hall and infielder Joey Ortiz. They also got the No. 34 pick in the 2024 MLB Draft.

The O’s added a true No. 1 pitcher and now their top four in the rotation features two pitchers that have finished in the top four at least once for the Cy Young voting, another that has made an All-Star team – giving them two All-Stars in the rotation – plus a young stud that was once the No. 1 pitching prospect in baseball.

How do we like it? Let’s count some ways.

Continue reading
  0 Comments
0 Comments

Orioles acquire Brewers righty Corbin Burnes in trade

Corbin Burnes Brewers white 2

One day after the Orioles' pending ownership change was announced by the club, the team tonight announced it has acquired the frontline starting pitcher it sought all winter with a trade for Brewers right-hander Corbin Burnes.

The Orioles are sending lefty pitcher DL Hall, infielder Joey Ortiz and a 2024 draft pick to Milwaukee to get the 2021 National League Cy Young Award winner. The pick is the No. 34 overall selection, a Competitive Balance Round A pick. Competitive Balance picks are the only ones that can be traded. After this deal, the Orioles would still have the Nos. 22 and 32 picks in this summer’s draft.

The last four seasons in Cy Young voting, Burnes, 29, has finished sixth, first, seventh and eighth. He is a three-time All Star.

Burnes is, at this point, a one-year addition for the Orioles. He is repped by Scott Boras and can be a free agent at the end of the 2024 season.

Last year for the Brewers, he went 10-8 with a 3.39 ERA over 32 starts and 193 2/3 innings with a 1.069 WHIP, a 3.1 walk rate and 9.3 strikeout rate.

Continue reading
  0 Comments
0 Comments

It can be frustrating waiting for a trade that may never come

MIke-Elias-2022-Winter-Meetings-2

One word for the MLB trade market right now would be frustrating. Frustrating for fans and maybe even front office execs alike that, while we have rumors, we have so much less actual movement and action.

The rumors about right-hander Dylan Cease never seem to end yet nothing so far has led to a move.

What might create further frustration here is that neither the Orioles or the Chicago White Sox need to make a move. They can simply keep what they have and go at it in the 2024 season. In the case of the White Sox, they could trade Cease next month, at the trade deadline, next winter or maybe never. And as for the Orioles, they may already have enough pitching.

The White Sox's Chris Getz was promoted to the general manager position on Aug. 31 and is going to want to make sure he makes the right deal if he trades Cease, a pitcher who was second for the AL Cy Young Award in the 2022 season.

Getz addressed the Cease trade talks with Chicago reporters this week.

Continue reading
  0 Comments
0 Comments

Is a trade inevitable for the Orioles?

Mike Elias OPACY suit

If you look at the Orioles' possible Opening Day roster as 2024 approaches, we can see that it’s crowded between Triple-A and the majors. Once again this year, it is not easy to find playing time for all that might be good enough to make that roster.

It’s been said many times, but having too much talent doesn’t seem to be a problem except for getting all those players on the field.

The Orioles have rebuilt their major league roster while building an elite talent pipeline and the No. 1 farm system in baseball. They are good, deep and talented, and it’s getting harder for some kids to break in.

Just a few years ago, the rebuilding Orioles were giving playing time to players whose resumes now would maybe not stand much of a chance of gaining playing time. These are different times in Birdland.

If the Orioles carried two catchers and just four outfielders to begin the year (yes, five seems more likely) they could carry seven infielders. They currently have seven infielders on their 40-man roster with Gunnar Henderson, Jorge Mateo, Ryan Mountcastle, Ryan O’Hearn, Joey Ortiz, Ramón Urías and Jordan Westburg.

Continue reading
  0 Comments
0 Comments

Diving into an imaginary trade package for Burnes

MIke-Elias-2022-Winter-Meetings-2

With family and friends gathering soon for the Thanksgiving holiday, the baseball business could slow but won’t necessarily halt. The screeching sound isn’t brakes. More likely talk radio.

Mike Elias could turn off his phone or charge it in another room while the turkey’s carved. He might be traveling and temporarily unavailable. But he’s aware of a fast-developing market after his time at the general managers meetings in Arizona. How pitching could fly off the board – unlike turkeys, who can’t fly – with so many teams searching for it.

The expanded playoffs increase the aggressiveness of executives, especially after the second-place, 84-win Diamondbacks reached the World Series. Snoozing brings the risk of losing.

Elias is known to prefer club control beyond one year if listening to trade offers, but the quest for a starter who slots high in the rotation might now allow it. Some of the biggest names assumed to be available are approaching free agency, most notably Milwaukee’s Corbin Burnes, Cleveland’s Shane Bieber and Tampa Bay’s Tyler Glasnow. The White Sox’s Dylan Cease has two years left on his contract.

The rentals can command less in return, but higher demand and desperation also can plant the sellers more firmly in the driver’s seat. Bidding wars aren’t confined to free agency.

Continue reading
  0 Comments
0 Comments

Orioles option O'Hearn to make room for Torrens

Luis Torrens Cubs

ATLANTA – Catcher Luis Torrens has joined the Orioles in Atlanta and is added to the 26-man roster for tonight’s series opener against the Braves.

In a corresponding move, first baseman Ryan O’Hearn was optioned to Triple-A Norfolk.

O’Hearn appeared in nine games and went 5-for-19 (.263) with a .634 OPS, one double and six RBIs.

Torrens, who’s wearing No. 13, gives the Orioles a third catcher and reduces the risk of putting Adley Rutschman and James McCann in the same lineup. He’s also a right-handed bat for the bench.

Rutschman and McCann could pair up again tonight with Atlanta starting left-hander Max Fried.

Continue reading
  0 Comments
0 Comments

A few notes on new O's lefty Cole Irvin (updated with new top 100 list)

opacy-2022

The Orioles had a surplus of quality minor league infield prospects and they were still seeking a pitcher to slot into their 2023 big league rotation, especially a lefty. Today those two added up to a deal where the Orioles acquired lefty starter Cole Irvin and Single-A right-hander Kyle Virbitsky from the Athletics in exchange for minor league shortstop Darell Hernaiz.

In the deal, the O’s gave up a top 30 prospect – Hernaiz was No. 16 via MLBPipeline.com – but they also acquired a pitcher that has averaged 180 innings the last two years with an ERA of 4.11. He has made 62 starts the last two seasons, but still has four years of team control remaining and will not even be arbitration eligible until after the coming 2023 season.

Here are a few more notes on the new O’s lefty after the deal was officially announced by the Orioles this afternoon:

* Irvin went 9-13 with a 3.93 ERA last year over 181 innings. He recorded strong numbers in WHIP (1.160) and walk rate (1.8) while making 15 quality starts. He produced 1.4 fWAR to rank second among A’s pitchers.

* An A’s beat writer tweeted today that Irvin was likely going to be Oakland’s opening day starting pitcher this year.

Continue reading
  0 Comments
0 Comments

Orioles add Irvin to camp rotation competition

elias cage

The Orioles succeeded today in finding a starting pitcher for their unsettled rotation, consummating a trade after failing to reach terms with a free agent.

Left-hander Cole Irvin and minor league pitcher Kyle Virbitsky were acquired from the Athletics for Single-A infielder Darell Hernaiz. Lefty reliever Darwinzon Hernandez was designated for assignment to make room for Irvin on the 40-man roster.

Irvin, who turns 29 on Tuesday, could be the only left-hander in the Orioles rotation on opening day with John Means recovering from Tommy John surgery and DL Hall a consideration for the bullpen. He’s made 62 starts over the past two seasons and posted a cumulative 4.11 ERA in 359 1/3 innings, with 1.8 walks and 6.4 strikeouts per nine frames in 2022.

The Orioles get more than durability with Irvin, who registered a career-low 3.98 ERA and 1.160 WHIP last year in 30 starts. He’s under team control through 2026.

The Phillies were the third team to draft Irvin, landing him in the fifth round in 2016 out of the University of Oregon. The Athletics acquired him in a cash deal on Jan. 30, 2021.

Continue reading
  0 Comments
0 Comments