MLB Rumors: Brewers fans are confused, and we don't blame them
Late last night, the Milwaukee Brewers and Baltimore Orioles pulled off a blockbuster trade. Milwaukee sent Corbin Burnes to Baltimore in exchange for Joey Ortiz, DL Hall, and Baltimore's Competitive Balance draft pick.
After this move, it is unclear what direction the Brewers are headed in after winning the NL Central a season ago. They recently lost Craig Counsell to the Chicago Cubs, and Brandon Woodruff was also non-tendered.
That leaves Freddy Peralta as the team's top starter. However, the Brewers also recently signed slugger Rhys Hoskins to a two-year deal and have outfielder Jackson Chourio waiting in the wings.
Essentially, the Brewers have made moves in both directions.
With the NL Central being a relatively weak division, Milwaukee still has a shot to compete for a division title, as the St. Louis Cardinals, Chicago Cubs, and Cincinnati Reds are far from powerhouses.
Still, the Brewers haven't improved on paper with the Burnes trade, and may ultimately end up taking a few steps back, which would leave room for the Cardinals, Cubs, or Reds to take the division crown.
Because of the Hoskins signing, it is clear that the Brewers aren't necessarily punting on 2024, especially with the division wide open. But they could also regress and fall out of the race.
At the same time, Nick Deeds of MLB Trade Rumors notes that adding Ortiz could open the door for a trade involving shortstop Willy Adames.
The Burnes trade freed up more than $15 million in payroll space, and they could look to even trade Devin Williams, similarly to how they traded Josh hader back in 2022.
So, there are a number of directions the Brewers could go. They have a shot to compete, but also might take a few steps back after losing Counsell, Woodruff, and Burnes.