The Brewers took Corbin Burnes to an arbitration hearing over a mere $750K, and the potential long-term ramifications simply weren’t worth it.
The Milwaukee Brewers took their superstar pitcher to an arbitration hearing and hurt their relationship because of it. If that sounds familiar, well, that’s because it is.
It happened in 2020 when the Brewers couldn’t settle on a salary with Josh Hader, with the team filing for $4.1 million while Hader asked for $6.4 million. The two sides went to a hearing and Hader listened while the team explained all the reasons why he wasn’t worth what he sought. The Brewers ultimately won the hearing, but the relationship was damaged — Hader was used strictly as a one-inning reliever — and he was eventually traded during the 2022 season.
It happened again with Corbin Burnes on Tuesday. The Brewers filed at $10.01 million while Burnes requested $10.75 million. The Brewers won the hearing, but a day after the ruling, Burnes met with reporters and sounded off about the process.
“There’s no denying that the relationship was definitely hurt from what (transpired) over the last couple weeks. There’s really no way to get around that,” Burnes said. “When some of the things that are said … they basically put me in the forefront of the reason why we didn’t make the postseason last year. That’s something that probably didn’t need to be said.”
Brewers: Corbin Burnes arbitration leading nowhere good
Going to an arbitration hearing, and ripping the best young pitcher in baseball to his face, over less than $750,000 is not worth it. Sure, it saved the Brewers money now. It saved them money in the future, too.
But Burnes has two years remaining on his contract before he becomes a free agent in 2025. Surely he will remember this, and what happened with Hader (one of his best friends), when it comes to negotiating his eventual mega deal.
For now, Burnes intends to move forward and put the ruling behind him. The Brewers have, too, issuing a statement on what the right-hander means to the organization. But the potential long-term ramifications of damaging their relationship was not worth saving less than $750,000.