Things do not look good between the Milwaukee Brewers and star pitcher Corbin Burnes. On Wednesday, the salary arbitration decision for Corbin Burnes was announced. He was not pleased.
Instead of his requested $10.75 million, Burnes, a two-time All-Star and 2021 National League Cy Young Award winner, will receive $10.01 million from the Milwaukee Brewers for the upcoming season.
Burnes voiced his frustrations on Thursday as teams prepare for the 2023 season.
Burnes, a 28-year-old right-hander, had an impressive 2022 season, going 12-8 with a 2.94 ERA and making a career-high 33 starts, which tied for the most in the majors. He also led the National League in strikeouts with 243, coming in second in the league behind New York Yankees’ Gerrit Cole who had 257. Burnes earned $6.55 million in the previous year. As a five-year veteran, Burnes’ overall record stands at 35-19 with a 3.21 ERA. He is set to become a free agent after the 2024 World Series.
Burns at only 28-years-old is one of the best pitchers in all of baseball, and probably should be receiving a higher salary. A rocky relationship with the club is not a good sign for future negotiations if the team wants to keep him in the long run.
Perhaps he’ll be a trade deadline asset for pitching-needy contenders this summer? The Brewers looked poised to make the post-season last year, but fell off as the season concluded. They traded away star closer Josh Hader to the San Diego Padres, as well as some other moves that indicated that the team may be moving towards a “rebuild” of some sorts.
Corbin expressed his frustration Thursday, saying “There’s no denying that the relationship is definitely hurt from what [transpired].”
“You learn your true value in the organization,” he continued.
General manager Matt Arnold said, “Look, we and he both worked exceptionally hard to come to an agreement.”
“To Corbin’s credit, he has the opportunity to say no. We did what we could to avoid the hearing if at all possible as evidenced by, I think, the fact that we settled with 10 of 11 of our cases. That is our hope – that we settle all of these cases before we have to go to a hearing.”
Arnold finished, “We want to be solution-based. We always want to try to get to a place where the player is comfortable, and also we respect the heck out of Corbin’s right to push for what he believes is fair.”
In 2016, the Milwaukee Brewers selected him in the fourth round of the Major League Baseball draft, and he made his MLB debut two years later in 2018. His outstanding performance earned him the National League Cy Young Award in 2021. On March 22, 2022, Burnes signed a $6.5 million contract with the Brewers, avoiding salary arbitration.
During the 2022 season, Burnes demonstrated his pitching prowess, achieving a 12-8 record with a 2.94 ERA across 202 innings, while striking out an impressive 243 batters, the most in the league. His fielding skills were also noteworthy, with a .961 fielding percentage. Despite being a finalist for the NL Gold Glove Award at pitcher, he lost to Max Fried, who won the award for the third consecutive season.
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Every fear that going to an arbitration hearing against Corbin Burnes could harm his relationship with the Brewers was founded.
“There’s no denying that the relationship is definitely hurt from what [transpired],” Burnes said. pic.twitter.com/Xv8DFyiKde
— Adam McCalvy (@AdamMcCalvy) February 16, 2023
Wow. Not a good look for the Brewers after going to arbitration with their ace.
Corbin Burnes isn’t happy. Rightfully so.
— Ben Verlander (@BenVerlander) February 16, 2023
The Brewers nickel & dime’d Corbin Burnes. If there was any chance (doubtful) that he was considering signing an extension with Milwaukee, that arbitration fiasco should take care of it, and I wouldn’t blame him.
— Dan Needles (@dneedles12) February 16, 2023