How the Corbin Burnes trade effects the Mariners

There are a few ripple effects for the Mariners from the Orioles shocking trade for Brewers' ace.
Wild Card Series - Arizona Diamondbacks v Milwaukee Brewers - Game One
Wild Card Series - Arizona Diamondbacks v Milwaukee Brewers - Game One / John Fisher/GettyImages

The Baltimore Orioles made a shocking transaction late last night when they sent two highly-regarded prospects, pitcher D.L Hall and infielder Joey Ortiz, along with a competitive balance draft pick (34) to Milwaukee for ace Corbin Burnes. There's been a ton of smoke surrounding the Oriole's desire to acquire pitching this offseason, with the Mariners seemingly like a logical trade partner. You'd think Baltimore is out of the pitching market with the Burnes trade, but there are ripple effects for Seattle. 

First, Logan Gilbert's price just skyrocketed. Burnes has one year of control, and his performance has declined since his Cy Young year in 2021. At the same time, Gilbert has four years of control and is dependable, averaging 180 innings and 32 starts over the past two seasons. 

If trading one year of the 28-year-old Burnes nets Milwaukee two major league-ready prospects and a draft pick, Gilbert should and would infuse the Mariners' roster with at least double that haul. Jerry Dipoto could call up St. Louis and start talks with Nolan Gorman. Or how about Tampa Bay and Junior Caminerio? It's not out of the realm of possibility. However, I'm not advocating skipping the lanky righthander out the door, but that return could be a game-changer for the Mariner's future. 

Second, the Burnes trade signals Milwaukee is open for business, and they have a few intriguing players who could help Seattle close the gap with the Astros and Rangers. There's been talk all offseason about them shipping pending free agent and shortstop Willy Adames out for prospects. After the recent Jorge Polanco trade, Adames doesn't fit the Mariner's roster. However, one player I'd look to acquire is National League All-Star, and NL Reliever of the Year Devin Williams. 

We've written extensively about the holes in the bullpen since trading stabilizer Paul Sewald, swingman Isaiah Campbell, and high-leverage ace Justin Topa this offseason. Williams would be a perfect fit in the Mariner pen, filling the veteran role on the back end and taking pressure off youngsters Andres Munoz and Matt Brash. Additionally, acquiring Williams would allow the Mariners to go tit-for-tat with the Houston Astros. 

Why would Milwaukee trade a closer on an affordable contract (2/17.5M) with two years of control? Because trading your ace signals a rebuilding year, and when teams take a step back, they don't need high-priced closers. 

While the Orioles just got more formidable by acquiring a much-needed front-line starter in Burnes, there are options for the Mariners to reap the benefits. It is time to step out of the shadows and do just that.