The baseball world flew into shock on Feb. 1 when the Orioles traded for former Brewers ace Corbin Burnes.
Red Sox fans were banking on having a better team than last year at this point. It was essentially promised through Tom Werner's half-baked "full-throttle" comments.
If anything, the team is worse than it was before — after losing three pitchers in James Paxton, Chris Sale and Corey Kluber and only effectively replacing one of them, watching Baltimore improve so quickly was a gut punch.
But at least Burnes didn't go to the Yankees.
Red Sox fans can revel in the Yankees whiff on Corbin Burnes
The New York club was interested in the hurler, and after acquiring Juan Soto and Marcus Stroman this offseason, the ace would've been the cherry on top. With Gerrit Cole, Carlos Rodón and Marcus Stroman also in the rotation, Burnes would've essentially secured first place for the Yankees.
But the Brewers had quite the price on Burnes' head when the Yankees called them up to make a trade. They wanted No. 2 prospect Spencer Jones for the right-hander, according to MLB insider Jon Heyman, and New York was not willing to make that deal.
And, honestly, that was the right move.
Some experts regard Jones as the top prospect in the Yankees organization. He's an Aaron Judge-esque, 6-foot-6 outfielder with a power bat, but his stature comes with risks. Some would argue that those risks would make him a reasonable price for Burnes, but for just one year of the right-hander, most fans would likely disagree.
And to make it even better, the Brewers turned around and took what was regarded as an underwhelming trade package from the Yankees' chief competition in the AL East. Hilarious.
It's refreshing to know that other teams still hold the Yankees to a tougher standard in trade talks than most of the other clubs in the league. The Burnes trade has been regarded by some fans as a robbery by the Orioles — neither of the two players they gave up in pitcher DL Hall or shortstop Joey Ortiz are as highly-touted as Jones. Not even close.
Despite Boston not getting any better this season, Red Sox Nation can at least find peace in other teams helping keep the balance in the AL East. Baltimore improving doesn't do the Red Sox any favors, but any time the Yankees get humbled is a pleasant experience.