The Baltimore Orioles acquired ace Corbin Burnes from the Milwaukee Brewers this past offseason in a trade to bolster their pitching rotation. Burnes, a former Cy Young winner, has pitched well to begin his Orioles career in 2024. Baltimore is currently playing Milwaukee in a three-game series, and Burnes is expected to pitch against his former team on Sunday.

Burnes recently addressed the trade that led to him leaving the only MLB organization he had ever known.

“I feel like my name has always been floated as a possible trade guy,” Burnes said, via Curt Hogg of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “You heard about it every offseason, you heard about it every trade deadline and it never came to happen. So it's kind of like, well, maybe not. But then obviously you put yourself in perspective of what market you’re in and what they've done here so in that sense, it's not surprising. The fact that it came so late was surprising.

“At that point, we were 10 days away from reporting to camp when it happened. Definitely, it was strange, but they got to do what they got to do.”

Corbin Burnes was a star in Milwaukee. From 2020-2023, Burnes was one of MLB's most consistent pitchers.

He recorded 200 or more strikeouts in each season from 2021-2023 and was a three-time All-Star during that span. And as aforementioned, he won the Cy Young award in 2021 after pitching to a league-leading 2.43 ERA.

Corbin Burnes prepares to pitch vs. Brewers

Burnes' time with the Brewers was successful for the most part. Of course, Milwaukee failed to win a World Series during his career with the ball club, but they were a fairly consistent postseason contender.

Nevertheless, Burnes felt the Brewers could have made a deeper playoff run. They had opportunities but the National League is stacked with talent. Milwaukee struggled in the postseason as a result.

“If you're looking at winning as a whole, at the end of the season, when it comes down to it, we had many chances to go deep in the postseason and we felt like we had teams to do it,” Burnes said, via the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “Whether it was one piece away or just a couple of bad games away, we didn’t get it done. But then again, shoot, in 2018 we’re maybe one Chris Taylor dive away from maybe getting into the World Series.

“We kind of had that feeling every year of, ‘Da*n, well, we were that close again. We were that close again.' But considering we went to the playoffs five or six times, it’s pretty tough to say it was unsuccessful.”

Burnes' outlook with Orioles

Baltimore Orioles starting pitcher Corbin Burnes (39) throws against the Boston Red Sox during the sixth inning at Fenway Park.
Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports

Baltimore finished the 2023 season with the best record in the American League. The O's spent years rebuilding and it is paying off. It seems like every season they are promoting a future superstar prospect. Most recently, the O's promoted 2022 first-round draft pick Jackson Holliday to the major leagues.

One area where the Orioles dealt with uncertainty in 2023 was the starting rotation, however. With Corbin Burnes now leading the rotation, though, this Orioles ball club is a legitimate World Series contender.

The American League East featured plenty of talent. Winning the division won't be an easy task, and reaching the World Series will prove to be an immense challenge. With that said, Burnes has postseason experience and is ready to lead Baltimore to the Fall Classic.

For now, he will focus on preparing to pitch against the Brewers.