Very rarely do we stumble on proposed trades on the internet and say, "Wow, you know what? This person really took the time, examined this with a level head, and nailed it. Congrats to both teams, everyone gets what they need." For Los Angeles Dodgers and Milwaukee Brewers fans, it'll be hard to argue this.
Bleacher Report came up with one trade for every MLB team heading into the offseason, and the Dodgers part of the article featured Corbin Burnes (sorry to everyone who's still hot on Willy Adames). For this exercise, we're talking starting pitching, because that's where the conversation starts and ends for the Dodgers until the beginning of 2024.
Andrew Friedman will have plenty of high-profile free agents to choose from, but the Dodgers don't typically spend like that. They're a bit more calculated and avoid mass sprees that could limit their future flexibility. So let's say, at best, free agency features one big signing and then a couple of smaller multi-year deals/flyers.
And, of course, a trade or two. Could Burnes, who's been linked to the Dodgers for well over a year now, finally come to LA as the Brewers do some version of tearing down the current iteration of their roster as they search for a new manager?
Burnes is a free agent after 2024. In fact, the only players guaranteed a contract for 2025 and beyond are Christian Yelich and Aaron Ashby. Burnes, Adames, Brandon Woodruff, Eric Lauer, Adrian Houser, and more will all hit the open market at the same time, meaning the Brew Crew need to take some action and get value for the guys they know won't be coming back.
Bleacher Report's proposed Dodgers-Corbin Burnes trade seems ... perfect?
We'd put money on Burnes not re-signing in Milwaukee for two reasons: 1) the way he was treated during last year's arbitration process and 2) Scott Boras is his agent. Boras has no control over what his clients get traded for, so better to capitalize while you can.
The Brewers stand to part with a star player they know won't be part of the organization's future. Burnes is among the best starters -- the most in-demand role -- in all of baseball. So what'll it take to acquire the right-hander for a full season?
Per B/R's Joel Reuter, the Dodgers dangling infielder Michael Busch, pitcher Emmet Sheehan and catcher Hunter Feduccia could do the trick. Look, even someone like Juan Soto is going to have a hard time potentially bringing the Padres back a massive return if he's traded. There's only so much value a player on a hefty expiring contract has.
According to MLBTradeRumors, Burnes is due $15.1 million in his final year of arbitration eligibility, and that number is probably accurate to the penny after another Cy Young-caliber season in 2023. Thought the Brewers might want more or better than that, all things considered, this is a good starting point.
Busch, though technically a depreciated asset because of his Triple-A dominance and MLB struggles, is ready for The Show. He has nothing left to prove in the minor leagues. His defensive flexibility and multi-purpose bat could very well give the Brewers a key figure on this team for the next six years.
Sheehan impressed during his rookie season with the Dodgers, but also showed predictable struggles for a young player making the leap. The Brewers are adept at developing young arms and could view Sheehan as a high-upside project for their rotation.
And then there's Feduccia, who just had his best season in the Dodgers' system. He hit .279 with an .838 OPS, 18 doubles, 11 homers and 57 RBI in 90 games at Triple-A. The trouble here is that he's 26 years old, but, like Busch, his next stop is MLB. A controllable catcher (and lefty bat, might we add!) would be another crucial get for a small-market team like the Brewers.
Don't like that, Milwaukee fans? OK, maybe then you're looking at a one-for-one swap for prospects Diego Cartaya or Dalton Rushing (or Cartaya plus a pitcher). The Dodgers could also throw in Ryan Pepiot and take out Sheehan and Feduccia. Do you like Gavin Stone?
The possibilities are fruitful, but Bleacher Report just got the conversation started in the advanced stages with this sensible and fair package for both sides.