Just as the lack of action was putting MLB fans to sleep, the Milwaukee Brewers dropped a bombshell big enough to jumpstart two offseasons.
That's what happens when a presumptive playoff hopeful decides to trade a Cy Young-winning pitcher in the prime of their career. Which is just what happened Thursday night when MIlwaukee Brewers ace Corbin Burnes was shipped to Baltimore for a return that was...well, less than overwhelming. To be specific, just one MLB Top 100 prospect (Joey Ortiz), and one not even ranked inside the Top 50.
Brewers shortstop Willy Adames is an impressive talent, but he is not remotely in the Burnes tier. Yet he was set to be, and still could be, one of the top prizes in free agency next offseason. Particularly when it comes to shortstop, but even putting that aside, he was likely going to be a top five offensive option. And he might not even require a Top 100 prospect, or above average MLB player, to bring onboard for the 2024 campaign.
Every MLB team without an elite shortstop under contract should be tripping over themselves get on the phone with the Brewers to get a trade done right now. Not just before next offseason, but before Opening Day 2024. At least half the league could benefit from an upgrade at shortstop, and that's before getting to the fact there are probably one or two contenders that might be interested in adding Adames simply for depth during a 2024 title run. Provided the price is as low as the Burnes trade suggests it could be, that is.
Until Thursday night, the assumption was Milwaukee was going to take one more shot at contention this season. No longer. The only question that remains is whether or not they will hold out until the MLB Trade Deadline and hope for a truly desperate offer.
Adding Adames now gives whatever club is fortunate enough to acquire him a chance to upgrade for this year at minimal cost, as well as an opportunity to sell the player on possibly committing for the long haul. Like plenty of other trade rumors this offseason, this could end up being nothing more than smoke.
But one thing is for certain. This Burnes trade just lit a fire underneath every other GM in baseball to start calling the Brewers to find out what else they have for sale, and Adames should be at the top of that list.