Nowadays, it’s great to be an O’s fan. We have no idea what kind of owner David Rubenstein will be, and he could be just as interested in the „Baseball Village“ that John Angelos secured tax dollars for before the sale. But his status as „Not An Angelos“ will definitely give Orioles fans optimism. On Thursday evening, they got another dose of this optimism directly in the face when GM Mike Elias went wild and used Baltimore’s treasure trove of young talent to acquire Corbin Burnes from the Brewers.
Burnes is likely the best pitcher available this winter through either free agency or trade. Even though Yoshinobu Yamamoto could prove to be such, Burnes has already proven himself in the MLB for several seasons. He has a career FIP of 3.11, a K-rate of 30 percent, and an ERA+ of 77 (100 is the average, the lower the better). At best, he can dominate a lineup. It’s rare to land genuine aces, and the Orioles just did.
If Grayson Rodriguez can continue to show the form he displayed after his recall from the minors in the second half of last season (2.76 FIP in 76 innings), the O’s might have the best 1-2 at the top of their rotation in the AL, and certainly in the division they just won (sorry, Yankees, but it’s still not that far behind Gerrit Cole). With Kyle Bradish now properly ranked as number 3, the Orioles just need to worry about health.
What makes Baltimore even better is that they didn’t have to give up anything they will miss. DL Hall couldn’t find the plate as a starter with a team of Foxhounds in the minors and was demoted last year. The O’s are producing reinforcements. This list of good players is so extensive that there was no way for Jordan Westburg, Jackson Holliday, and Gunnar Henderson. Isof this stuffsparatesway.
Are there any warning signs about Burnes? Yes, this might be the reason the O’s are waiting on an extension for him beyond this year. His K-rate dropped from 30 percent to 25 percent, and he lost a tick on the cutter he mainly uses, from 95 to 94.1 MPH. His walk rates also increased by two percent, and at 29 years old, it’s fair to wonder if he’s starting to decline. However, he has options. He has a wicked curve that rises a touch by percentage to almost at 50, and he could rely more on that, along with a change-up that brings a ton of grounders. He may have left his strikeout orgy behind him, but there are still more than enough tools to punch out many batters every five days.
By simply running back last year’s team, the Orioles might still be the favorite in the AL East. They just added one of the best pitchers in baseball. We don’t know if the new owner will approve any more trades before the deadline, none of which are even standing on their MLB roster. Camden Yards has always felt like a place that should be the center of baseball. It might be now.
Don’t Cry for Milwaukee
On the Brewers‘ side, there’s the narrative that, given the size of the city and the market, they have to act accordingly by essentially ceding the division this year to the static or not so expanded Cubs, as they should be Reds, while refilling with young, cheap talent.
Here’s Ken Rosenthal I endorse the propaganda of this owner.
It’s nonsense. Last year, the Crew attracted 2.5 million fans, which would have given them somewhere between 170 and 200 million US dollars even at an average ticket price. Yes, their TV contract is with Bally and could go in various directions, but there are rumors that it could bring them another 30 million dollars per year. They just got the state of Wisconsin to pay $500 million for the modernization of Miller Park, which they now call. Owner Mark Attanasio bought the team 20 years ago for $220 million, and the value is currently estimated at $1.6 billion. Perhaps more after the stadium deal.
Does anyone really care if he loses a few million a year, considering what he will eventually sell this team for?
Michael Buble’s Magic Mushroom Ride
And now, Michael Buble looks like me at the last Queens of the Stone Age show I attended:
Legalize mushrooms so everyone can experience this joy.