No! But it should! Because even though the New York Yankees are reportedly unlikely to pursue a trade or signing following the news of Frankie Montas undergoing shoulder surgery, that can't actually be the organization's stance if a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity presents itself.
The Milwaukee Brewers and Corbin Burnes just went through what felt like a very unnecessary arbitration hearing that only damaged the relationship between the two sides. Very Yankees-esque, in fact.
Burnes, the 2021 NL Cy Young winner and consensus top-three pitcher in all of baseball, filed for a $10.75 million salary for the 2023 season (his second year of arbitration eligibility). The Brewers countered at $10.01 million (what is that number?).
Instead of meeting in the middle (the least they could do) or just footing the extra $750K to do right by their best player, the Brewers won the hearing in arbitration and will pay Burnes the $10.01 million next year. The right-hander was asked about the situation upon his arrival at spring training and he was candid ... to the dismay of Brewers fans (he's not happy whatsoever).
Hey Brian Cashman! You want to win a World Series in 2023 and be right there again in 2024? Call up the Brew Crew, see what this will cost, and at least see how far you'd be willing to go to make it happen.
Brewers-Corbin Burnes situation could help Yankees in trade talks?
We'll be the first to say that this isn't realistic because the asking price will be akin to what the Cincinnati Reds wanted for Luis Castillo (probably even more than that, to be honest). Then again, what other teams have the prospect capital and willingness to make such a trade? The Dodgers? Maybe the Mets/Blue Jays?
Plus, the Brewers might be inclined to trade Burnes out of the NL if the relationship becomes untenable. That gives the Yanks an edge over the Dodgers and Mets, and they have the farm system advantage over Toronto.
Another important thing to remember is the salary relief the Yankees would be giving Milwaukee (an organization always looking to cut costs). Burnes is making $10.01 million this year (they'd save ~$4 million around the deadline), which is a $3.5 million raise from his 2022 salary. That number should leap beyond $15-$16 million if he has another All-Star-caliber campaign this coming season.
Assuming the Yankees can keep Anthony Volpe and Oswald Peraza in these discussions (they probably can because Milwaukee is settled with their middle infield and has top prospects Brice Turang, Tyler Black and Eric Brown Jr. in the pipeline), it'd be a massive win no matter who they deal for Burnes (we'll discuss a trade package in a separate article).
With Montas out for 2023 (and gone once the offseason arrives) and Luis Severino all but officially gone as well come November, a deal for Burnes would give the Yankees a super rotation in 2023 and then a top four of Gerrit Cole, Carlos Rodón, Burnes and Nestor Cortes for 2024. That's the definition of maximizing the prime/remaining good years of Cole, Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton and DJ LeMahieu.
This will make fans forget about the busted Montas deal and every other Cashman whiff on starting pitcher trades.