Big thanks to the Milwaukee Brewers, who first screwed themselves ahead of the 2023 season (and beyond) and, in the process, hurt the Los Angeles Dodgers' future free agent endeavors. For all those fans hoping LA would land Corbin Burnes at some point, it's probably not going to happen.
On Wednesday, it was revealed the NL Cy Young winner hired BorasCorp as his representation and ditched CAA Sports. The right-hander is getting well ahead of his free agency, which will follow the 2024 season.
The Dodgers, who famously limit their business with Boras, can probably cross another ace pitcher off their list over the next two offseasons, especially since their negotiations with Julio Urías (also repped by Boras) apparently aren't going so well.
This might cause the Brewers to dig their heels in, too. But they have no right to anyway after how they treated Burnes during the arbitration process. Nonetheless, now that he has the most powerful agent in the game, they're almost destined to keep him for the next two full seasons or hold him hostage as they dictate the direction of potential trade talks.
Not that they wouldn't have been seeking maximum value for Burnes previously, but now they'll more than likely be ruthless in the search for the market's far and away top trade package if they decide to move him. And even if the Dodgers pay up, he won't extend in LA! Cool.
Dodgers get screwed by Brewers' treatment of Corbin Burnes
You push a man, and this is what happens. Burnes called out the Brewers organization upon his arrival to Spring Training after he lost his arbitration case. Instead of either meeting in the middle or paying him the difference (a measly $740K), Milwaukee let it play out in a hearing.
Somehow, the panel ruled in favor of the Brewers. Burnes will make $10.01 million in 2023 (he filed for $10.75 million) and he revealed that those actions by the front office hurt his relationship with the team. So now he's conducting his version of scorched earth behavior.
Boras will leave no stone left unturned in his quest to get Burnes the largest contract possible. Unless the Dodgers do a 180 on their current approach in free agency, that won't be happening.
As for a trade? Good luck. The Brewers, now that they know Burnes' latest career move all but officially axes them from his life when the time comes, will take advantage of the starting pitching market, which is always the game's most robust. It also helps that they have Brandon Woodruff as a version of insurance, so if they're not contending by the middle of this season, they can start exploring deals for Burnes to send him packing as soon as possible while they kickstart their rebuild/retool in an expedited fashion.
Doubt the Dodgers would want to pay that premium, too, especially if it means parting with key prospects they've been hoping would fill in-demand roles at the MLB level.