Ranking the top pitching trade targets if the SF Giants miss out on Shohei Ohtani
1) Corbin Burnes
This final member of the 2025 free agency class represents one of the top-tier fish in the next offseason market.
Corbin Burnes needs no introduction, even to the casual baseball fan. He does not need a bounce-back campaign. He does not carry any unusual injury concerns. Or any concerns in general. Simply put, Burnes is one of the top pitchers in the world. He is a former Cy Young winner (2021). He has been an All-Star in each of the past three seasons. He has finished in the top eight in NL Cy Young votes in each of the past four seasons. He holds a career 3.26 ERA (3.39 in 2023). He holds one of the best K-to-BB rations in baseball (870 career strikeouts to only 206 career walks). And his Baseball Savant metrics indicate that he could perform better than the above numbers.
Burnes is one of the rare pitchers who would immediately supplant Webb as the ace of the team. Adding him to the roster would allow the Giants to feature a one-two punch, unlike anything the franchise has seen since Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain were leading the franchise to consistent World Series appearances.
This potential top-of-the-order pairing would give SF a top-of-the-rotation advantage against any other club. Should they crack the playoff field, and one would assume adding Burnes would allow them to, they would also have the pitching firepower to wreak havoc in shorter postseason series.
Burnes would require a small fortune of assets to acquire. The soon-to-be free agent would also likely demand something in the range of the nine-year, $324 million contract that the Yankees offered Gerrit Cole received during the 2019-20 season.
The price tag would be sky-high across all levels. But the juice is worth the squeeze for a club like the Giants. Should Ohtani break the Bay area's hearts, Burnes would be a thrilling pivot as the franchise seeks to add the ever-elusive superstar.