This time of year, it's hard to not get caught up in the sea of Cubs rumors we're all awash in. But this latest trade rumor really caught my eye (and just about everybody else's eye, for that matter) - and it provides a cautionary tale for all of us as hot stove season gets cooking.
In Jesse Rogers' latest piece at ESPN, he not only has updates on Shohei Ohtani and Cody Bellinger, but also a shocking mention of former NL Cy Young Award winner and three-time All-Star Corbin Burnes.
"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. The Cubs would like to acquire a starter after Marcus Stroman opted out of his deal recently -- though young pitching is a sudden strength for the organization."- Jesse Rogers, ESPN
Cubs need an ace, but it's hard to envision a scenario where a Corbin Burnes trade comes together with the Brewers
The Cubs certainly have a need of a top-of-the-rotation arm to slot in alongside Justin Steele, who just finished fifth in NL Cy Young voting, but it's near-impossible to envision a scenario where these division rivals line up on a trade of this magnitude.
Burnes is heading into the final year of his deal and the small-market Brewers can't afford to just let him walk at season's end (nor can they afford what it will take to sign him long-term). I think a Burnes trade is likely between now and next summer's trade deadline, but I think he's far more likely to wind up with a team like the Dodgers, Giants or Orioles than with the Cubs.
From Chicago's standpoint, the fear is you unload quality prospects who go on to haunt you for much of the next decade for one year of Burnes. That's as much of a detractor here as the fan backlash is for Milwaukee. The Cubs' farm system is as deep as it's ever been, and I think trades are inevitable - but a blockbuster with the Brewers seems like a wild stretch to me.
So while Rogers is one of the most reputable names on the Cubs beat and I have no doubt he's hearing this - this is a perfect example of a Cubs rumor we shouldn't immediately put a ton of stock into because there are a ton of hurdles that would need to be cleared before this could even start to come together in reality.