MLB trade grades: Brewers latest Mets swap has huge Corbin Burnes implications

The Milwaukee Brewers traded Adrian Houser and more to the New York Mets. This could have big implications for Corbin Burnes.

Chicago Cubs v Milwaukee Brewers
Chicago Cubs v Milwaukee Brewers / John Fisher/GettyImages

The Milwaukee Brewers have traded Adrian Houser to the New York Mets in an attempt to clear salary, or so it would appear. Houser is a fine bottom-of-the-rotation starter, but he will not stop Steve Cohen from pursuing Yoshinobu Yamamoto and more.

The trade of Houser to Queens could keep Milwaukee from forcing Corbin Burnes and Willy Adames out this offseason. Instead, the Brewers want to compete, and trading away an overpriced starter can afford general manager Matt Arnold some time, as Milwaukee can afford the arbitration price of both.

Houser is in his final year of arbitration, and MLB Trade Rumors estimates he'll receive near $5 million. Burnes, meanwhile, will cost the Brewers quite a bit if he stays -- potentially as much as $14 million.

MLB trade grades: Who won the New York Mets-Milwaukee Brewers trade?

While big names were absolutely not involved, the Mets came away winners in this one. Houser could start in the Mets current rotation -- perhaps as a No. 4 or No. 5 starter -- and he should only cost new York $5 million. Along with Houser, the Mets will take on Tyrone Taylor's deal, which has three years of arbitration left on it. Taylor is over 30 years old and a fourth outfielder at best.

New York could buy either player out, but should they miss on Yamamoto they will need more pitching depth. On the surface, Houser has value, while Taylor does not. In return, the Brewers will receive former Mets prospect Coleman Crow, who is a right-handed pitcher.

Crow was the Mets 29th-ranked prospect, and is 22 years old. He pitched as high as Double-A in 2023. Here is what MLB Pipeline has to say about his potential:

"While none of Crow’s pitches jump off the page, the undersized right-hander does have four different ones with a very good sense of how to use them. His fastball averaged only around 90 mph in 2022, touching 94, but it plays up and gets a lot of ground-ball outs because of its sink. He throws his low-80s slider almost nearly as much as the fastball and it comes with very high spin rates to miss bats in and out of the zone. He can fold in a slower upper-70s curveball at times and his changeup flashes above-average-to-plus as well."

By trading Houser and Taylor, the Brewers cleared close to half the salary needed to sign Burnes in arbitration. As for the Mets, they traded for a fourth outfielder and bottom-tier rotation starter for virtually nothing. Given the asking price of starting pitchers in free agency this winter, that's a steal.

New York Mets: B+

Milwaukee Brewers: C