Brewers trade former Cy Young winner Corbin Burnes to Baltimore Orioles

The Orioles have acquired an ace in the same week that the team changed ownership

A new era is underway for the Brewers, with Burnes' exit following Craig Counsell's departure. (Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)

Corbin Burnes is leaving Milwaukee.

The Brewers are trading Burnes to the Baltimore Orioles. The Orioles announced the news Thursday, confirming earlier reports. The trade concludes an offseason of speculation that Burnes would play for a different team in 2024.

The Orioles are sending shortstop Joey Ortiz and left-handed pitcher D.L. Hall to the Brewers. Ortiz is baseball's 63rd-ranked prospect, per, and was Baltimore's No. 6-rated prospect. Hall, 25, is a former first-round pick (2021) with nine games of MLB experience. The Brewers will also receive a Competitive Balance Round A draft pick (34th) in the upcoming MLB draft.

The trade arrives a day after news of the sale of the Orioles franchise. The Angelos family reportedly agreed Wednesday to sell the Orioles to a group led by billionaires David Rubenstein and Mike Arougheti, both private equity investors, and including Orioles legend Cal Ripken Jr. A group led by Peter Angelos had owned the franchise since 1993.

Burnes' exit marks end of an era in Milwaukee

A three-time All-Star who won the NL Cy Young award in 2021, Burnes has played his entire six-season MLB career with the Brewers. Milwaukee made a return to the postseason during his rookie season following a six-year absence and reached the playoffs in five of his six seasons with the franchise.

Burnes developed into the team's ace before winning the Cy Young with a league-best 2.43 ERA in 2021. He led the league in strikeouts in 2022 and has finished in the top 10 in Cy Young voting in the two seasons since he won the award.

While leaning on his signature cutter that reaches the high 90s, Burnes relies on a five-pitch arsenal including a curveball, slider, changeup and sinker to induce swinging strikes. At 29 years old, he has the stuff to anchor a rotation for a contending Baltimore team. He finished 2023 with a 3.39 ERA and MLB-best 1.069 WHIP, with 200 strikeouts and 66 walks in 193 2/3 innings pitched.

Burnes' trade from Milwaukee follows the stunning departure of manager Craig Counsell to the rival Chicago Cubs in November. Both were integral to Milwaukee's repeated trips to the postseason, though those playoff appearances all ended in disappointment, with a single trip to the NLCS and none to the World Series. The Brewers were swept in the 2023 wild-card round by the eventual NL champion Arizona Diamondbacks.

The Brewers signaled their intention to continue contending with the signing of first baseman Rhys Hoskins in January. However, Burnes is approaching his final season of arbitration eligibility and is slated to become a free agent after 2024. Without a long-term deal in place, the Brewers opted to trade their ace rather than risk losing him for nothing in return next offseason.