The Chicago Cubs have already proved that the impossible is possible this off-season when they hired manager Craig Counsell away from the Milwaukee Brewers.
The idea of Counsell being the Cubs' manager would have been as outlandish as the idea of the Brewers trading ace Corbin Burnes to their National League Central rival. But given we live in a reality where Counsell is the manager on the North Side, could Burnes be the next coup that the Cubs' front office pulls off?
Jesse Rogers of ESPN reports that the Cubs are already keeping tabs on Burnes' situation with the Brewers.
"They also have an eye on Milwaukee starter Corbin Burnes, in case the Brewers begin to subtract -- and Milwaukee is willing to trade with the team that just pilfered its manager."- Jesse Rogers via ESPN
Burnes is entering the final year of arbitration with the Brewers and considering that his relationship with the team may be strained after last year's arbitration hearing, there has been speculation that the Brewers may look to trade the starting pitcher if they go through a rebuild.
Burnes represents everything that the Cubs desire in terms of a top-of-the-rotation starting pitcher but the Brewers will likely have a higher ask of the Cubs than any other team if they make the 2021 National League Cy Young Award winner available.
A trade for Burnes shouldn't be considered likely for the Cubs but the team may be tipping their hand regarding their targets next off-season. Assuming Burnes does not reach an extension with the Brewers, or a different team, before the end of the season, it would seem likely that the Counsell-managed Cubs will be among his potential suitors next off-season when he is a free agent.