Corbin Burnes stung by Brewers’ words in salary arbitration loss

Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

For Corbin Burnes, the disappointment wasn’t from losing his salary arbitration case so much as hearing the words the Milwaukee Brewers used during the proceedings to determine his 2023 salary.

They stung.

The 2021 NL Cy Young Award winner attended his case and came away with hard feelings. He lost his hearing and will receive $10.01 million from the Brewers rather than his $10.75 million request.

“Obviously, it’s tough to hear. It’s tough to take. They’re trying to do what they can to win a hearing,” Burnes told reporters at spring training in Phoenix. “There’s no denying that the relationship is definitely hurt from what (transpired) over the last couple weeks. There’s really no way of getting around that.”

A five-year veteran, Burnes is 35-19 with a 3.21 ERA. He is eligible for free agency after the 2024 World Series.

“You kind of find out your true value,” the right-hander said. “You think you work hard for seven years in the organization, and five years with the big-league team, and you get in there and basically they value you much different than what you thought you’d contributed to the organization.

“They won it. But when it came down to winning or losing the hearing, it was more than that for me.”

Burnes felt like he was put “in the forefront” of the reason why the Brewers didn’t make the postseason in 2022.

“That’s something that probably doesn’t need to be said,” explained Burnes, who led the National League with 243 strikeouts in compiling a 12-8 record with a 2.94 ERA. “We can go about a hearing without having to do that.”

Brewers president of baseball operations Matt Arnold explained in a statement, “the arbitration process always presents uncomfortable situations for both the club and player involved. It is never easy to present a case against a member of the Brewers family.

“I’d like to reiterate that we view Corbin as one of the leaders of our franchise and value him as an elite talent in the game. Corbin is a major contributor to the organization both on and off the field, and we look forward to another outstanding season from him in 2023.”

One of the fears of a player attending their own proceeding is he hears unflattering words from the team. The chatter isn’t all rosy when money’s at stake.

“There was no attacking of character or the person who I was,” Burnes said. “But just some of the stuff that was said, that definitely didn’t need to be said, is something that I think kind of disappointed everyone.”


This was icing on the cake for Seattle outfielder and American League Rookie of the Year Julio Rodriguez: A “cooking show.”

As the cover player for the recently released 2023 Topps Series One baseball cards, Rodriguez made a playful promotion through a baking segment called, “Batter Up.”

Chef Rodriguez mixed together flour, sticks of baseball gum and a full scoop of gooey hustle. Then, he poured the concoction into a muffin pan, placed it into the oven for a brief moment and, presto, out popped packs of cards bearing his image.

Rodriguez is coming off a season in which he hit .284 with 28 homers and 25 steals.


Phillies pitching prospect Andrew Painter had his locker strategically placed next to veteran righty Zack Wheeler.

That way, the 19-year-old Painter has a nearby mentor to help him settle in. Painter is a candidate for the fifth spot in the Phillies’ rotation.

Wheeler’s early advice to Painter: “Don’t put too much stress on yourself … Just let your stuff take control and take care of itself.”

It was quite a day for Painter as the Phillies held their first workout for pitchers and catchers. He had his bullpen session watched by team owner John Middleton.

Painter, the 13th overall pick in the 2021 amateur draft, is 6-2 with a 1.48 ERA in 26 starts over two minor league seasons.


To celebrate their silver anniversary, the Tampa Bay Rays established a team Hall of Fame. The first class is slated to be Wade Boggs, Carl Crawford and the late Don Zimmer.

Zimmer will be inducted on April 2. Boggs will be honored during a pregame ceremony on July 9 and Crawford on Aug. 26.

The team also will wear their throwback Devil Rays uniforms for 14 home games, including opening day.


New York Yankees starter Gerrit Cole on being swept in the AL Championship Series by Houston: “We got waxed. Anytime you get waxed, it doesn’t feel good, whether you’re going to the salon or you’re on the baseball field.”


The Los Angeles Dodgers made several moves, which included finalizing a one-year, $6.5 million deal with outfielder David Peralta. They also brought in right-handers Alex Reyes and Jimmy Nelson.

In addition, Los Angeles transferred a trio of pitchers – Walker Buehler, J.P. Feyereisen and Blake Treinen – to the 60-day injured list.


Rockies outfielder Randal Grichuk underwent sports hernia surgery just before spring training. The team said he won’t play in a game for about six to eight weeks.

Roger Clemens will be an analyst for ESPN on opening day

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Roger Clemens will be an analyst for ESPN when the defending World Series champion Houston Astros host the Chicago White Sox on opening day.

Clemens made four appearances on last year’s KayRod Cast with Michael Kay and Alex Rodriguez. He will be stepping in on March 30 for David Cone, who will be doing the New York Yankees opener against the San Francisco Giants on YES Network.

“Roger has been sort of a friend of ours for the last year, so to speak, he’s in. He’s been engaged, knowledgeable and really present,” said ESPN Vice President of Production Phil Orlins. “You know, whatever past may be, he’s still tremendously engaged and he really brought that every time he was with us.”

Clemens was a seven-time Cy Young winner but his career after baseball has been tainted by allegations of performance-enhancing drug use. He is a Houston native and pitched for the Astros for three seasons.

Orlins said that with the rules changes and pitch clock, it is important to have a pitcher in the booth with Karl Ravech and Eduardo Perez.

“We don’t feel like we have to have the dynamic of Eduardo with a pitcher, but we certainly think that works. Throw in the added factor of rule changes and it is better to have a batter-pitcher perspective,” Orlins said.

Orlins did not say if this would open the door for future opportunities for Clemens as an ESPN analyst.