3 reasons Corbin Burnes to the Cubs won’t happen, 1 reason it actually could

A Corbin Burnes trade to the Chicago Cubs isn't likely by any means, but it's also not an impossibility.

Mar 30, 2023; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Milwaukee Brewers starting pitcher Corbin Burnes (39) delivers
Mar 30, 2023; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Milwaukee Brewers starting pitcher Corbin Burnes (39) delivers / Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports
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Corbin Burnes to the Cubs won't happen because he has one year left on his contract

Burnes would make any rotation a whole lot better, but a trade for him would come with significant risk. He's set to hit free agency after the 2024 season. Parting with significant prospects and potentially big-league capital to land a rental carries significant risk.

The Cubs would be better positioned to retain Burnes past the 2024 season due to the money at their disposal than most, but that doesn't mean Burnes will want to stay there or that things would work out. If the Cubs make this trade, fail to win a World Series, and then fail to re-sign him, it'll be a failure.

The Cubs especially would have to offer an astronomical amount just to get Milwaukee's attention. Risking that on a player who could walk out the door is something they've done before (Aroldis Chapman) but isn't super common in today's game.

The Cubs will likely choose to prioritize either signing a free agent or trading for a pitcher with more than one year of team control. This at least gives them a little bit of cushion if the team fails to win in its first year with whatever player they acquire. Burnes makes a team 2024 World Series or bust, and Chicago isn't quite ready to be in that position yet even if they acquired a pitcher as good as Burnes.