MLB Rumors: Braves preferred deal, Red Sox-Mariners trade chatter, Jays next move

  • Blue Jays interested in J.D. Martinez
  • Mariners 'rebuffed' Red Sox trade interest in young pitchers
  • Why Corbin Burnes is Braves' best bet on trade market

Corbin Burnes, Milwaukee Brewers
Corbin Burnes, Milwaukee Brewers / Megan Briggs/GettyImages
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MLB Rumors: Braves should prefer Corbin Burnes over other top trade candidates

Joel Reuter of Bleacher Report highlighted the top MLB trade candidates on the pitching front. Among those listed are Corbin Burnes, Shane Bieber, and Dylan Cease — all of whom are on the Atlanta Braves' radar to some degree.

Alex Anthopoulos has been diligently laying the groundwork for a big Braves splash, but Atlanta's offseason has largely revolved around marginal tweaks. Atlanta could splurge on a showy free agent like Blake Snell, but the expectation is that the Braves will focus on the trade market instead. That's more in line with Anthopoulos' operational principles.

Of the names B/R lists, Burnes is the standout. The Milwaukee Brewers' top ace has posted a sub-3.00 ERA in four of his six MLB seasons. With three straight All-Star berths on his résumé, Burnes has been in the Cy Young conversation each of the last four seasons. He finished 2023 with a 3.39 ERA and a National League-best 1.069 WHIP, accumulating 200 strikeouts in 193.2 innings pitched.

Burnes started 32 games after 33 starts the season prior. He's a proper workhorse at the top of Milwaukee's rotation, and he would form quite the 1-2 punch with Spencer Strider on a competitive Braves team.

He won't come cheap — Reuter notes that Milwaukee wants to keep Burnes despite his expiring contract — but Burnes is the Braves' surest bet for top-shelf help. Cease is younger, with another year of team control, but he finished last season with a 4.58 ERA and considerable walk problems. Shane Bieber is a former Cy Young winner, but he regressed significantly in 2023. Burnes has been the most consistent of the bunch.

Atlanta should keep an open mind, but if Anthopoulos has his pick, Burnes is the best trade option readily available to the Braves.

BRAVES RUMORS. Yamamoto pipe dream, Kelenic's fresh start, Fletcher's role. Yamamoto pipe dream, Kelenic's fresh start, Fletcher's role. dark