As the Los Angeles Angels continue to posture their way through the still-early parts of the offseason, they prepare for the looming decision of Shohei Ohtani and where he plans to sign.
Angels general manager Perry Minasian has maintained that the team plans to do whatever they can to keep the two-way star, which will also help their need for starting pitching, once he’s cleared to pitch following elbow surgery. But the rotation currently has a void that is without a front-end arm, posing a huge problem for manager Ron Washington.
Aaron Nola is off the board after resigning with the Philadelphia Phillies, Sonny Gray inked a deal with the St. Louis Cardinals, which leaves other big names still out there. Blake Snell and Yoshinobu Yamamoto are the presumed A-tier starters on the free agent market, with a bevy of tier-two arms still out there.
One area the Angels could trend is via trade, which has some big names that are rumored to be on the move if the price is met, namely Corbin Burnes of the Milwaukee Brewers, per Jon Morosi of MLB Network:
“A lot of people around the industry in recent days have said they expect Burnes to be moved before spring training.” He added the Los Angeles Dodgers, San Francisco Giants, San Diego Padres and Los Angeles Angels are “all enamored with Burnes to varying degrees.”
The Angels definitely have a glaring need in their rotation, but they’re not in a position that would allow them to gamble with a one-year rental. But Burnes is a rare case, and owner Arte Moreno could green-light and huge contract to the righty once the 2024 season is over.
That possibility could come after pitching for the team this next year, or they could wait and give up nothing, except for the looming mega-contract that Burnes is in-line to receive.
What does Corbin Burnes bring to the table?
In the current climate of MLB, Burnes has been as reliable and dominant as it gets as far as starting pitching in recent years.
Among starters with over 500 innings since 2021, he ranks No. 1 in ERA (2.94), strikeouts (677), WHIP (0.99) and batting average allowed (.198). Burnes has allowed the fewest earned runs and hits, while finishing fourth in strikeout-to-walk ratio at 75.8%.
However, acquiring him for a one-year rental is the difficult piece to this equation. The Angels severely lack in the prospect area, which would be a huge waste of the little they have if Burnes left the club after his current deal expires.
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