Could Brewers-Corbin Burnes situation fuel eventual Dodgers trade?

Milwaukee Brewers v Arizona Diamondbacks
Milwaukee Brewers v Arizona Diamondbacks / Christian Petersen/GettyImages

The Los Angeles Dodgers did not make any big moves during the offseason while other contending teams in MLB loaded up on talent. Los Angeles is obviously confident in its roster and wants to see what the young talent has in store in 2023.

We have seen this approach from the Dodgers before and oftentimes it will lead to a trade at the midsummer deadline. If any team has the prospects to spare, it's the Dodgers, who will likely evaluate what happens during the first half of the season before making a blockbuster come July.

We may already know who the Dodgers' prime trade target will be when the time comes based on what's happening before the season even starts.

Corbin Burns and the Milwaukee Brewers are not seeing eye to eye about the pitcher's value in arbitration, prompting the Cy Young winner to dig into his team on Thursday when speaking with the media.

Just for reference, Burnes, who is entering his second year of arbitration eligibility, filed for a $10.75 million salary. The Brewers countered at $10.01 million, which was a $750K gap -- essentially nothing. Instead of paying Burnes, who won the NL Cy Young award in 2021 and was an All-Star in 2022, the difference, the team opted to go to an arbitration hearing and ended up getting their way when a panel ruled in favor of their salary submission.

Corbin Burnes could be a massive Dodgers trade target at the deadline

This has all the makings of being a precursor for a trade. Milwaukee is not a team that historically offers big contracts (especially with Christian Yelich already having one and it not panning out) and Burns may grow frustrated to the point where he demands a trade since the organization wouldn't pay the difference or meet him in the middle.

With another season of team control after 2023 remaining, Milwaukee will be able to get more value for Burnes at the deadline than any time after that. That makes the right-hander perhaps the biggest name potentially hitting the trade market with the Dodgers being one of few suitors.

Los Angeles has a five-man rotation of Julio Urías, Clayton Kershaw, Dustin May, Tony Gonsolin and Noah Syndergaard that could do big things in 2023. However, it's easy to see this unit eventually falling apart. Kershaw is due to miss 10-12 starts because of his age/health issues, while May, Gonsolin and Syndergaard all have had recent, serious injury issues and also aren't exactly the most consistent.

There are other young pitchers like Ryan Pepiot, Gavin Stone and Bobby Miller that could pick up some of the slack, but there's always the unknown with young starting pitchers. There's absolutely a world in which the Dodgers need another front-line starter come July.

Los Angeles has the prospects to make a trade happen and we can Burnes pushing for the move if he remains unhappy. Not only would he be pitching for a contender that's one of the best organizations in the sport, but he would be coming home. Burnes was born and grew up in Bakersfield, California.

This Burnes situation is certainly worth monitoring as it could end up giving the Dodgers a fantastic trade target to pursue. Perhaps Dodgers fans should be tuning into Brewers games this year so they can familiarize themselves with one of the best pitchers in the game, just in case.

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