Brandon Woodruff is expected to spend most, if not all, of next season rehabilitating from shoulder surgery. He will not do so in a Milwaukee Brewers uniform.
The Brewers announced on Friday They would not offer Woodruff a contract in his final season as an arbitration candidate, making him a free agent a year earlier than expected. First baseman Rowdy Tellez and reliever JC Mejía experienced a similar fate.
The decision essentially meant that the Brewers did not believe it was worth keeping Woodruff for 2024 given his injury, as the salaries received in arbitration reflect past performance rather than expected performance for the following season. MLB trade rumors estimated Woodruff would receive $11.6 million in arbitration this offseason.
The Brewers could have retained him on a multi-year deal to give him a chance to rehabilitate and return to familiar surroundings, but they apparently couldn’t find a deal that would work. The team went that far publish a statement from general manager Matt Arnold, recognizing the pitcher’s importance to the team after not tendering him:
“Today we had to make a very difficult decision regarding one of the best pitchers and people in franchise history. During his ten seasons with the organization, Brandon Woodruff represented the Brewers with class, kindness, heart and toughness. He is recognized as a great teammate, both on the field and in the community, where he and his wife Jonie have positively impacted so many lives around them. We remain open to his return to Milwaukee, and no matter what uniform he wears next, Woody will always be a member of the Brewers family.
Woodruff will now likely complete this multi-year deal with another team, and based on his recent performance, he should receive some consideration.
The right-hander ranks fourth among all qualified MLB pitchers with a 2.76 ERA in the last four seasonsand ninth with a FIP of 3.13. In today’s pitching-hungry MLB, a two-time All-Star pitcher at a cheap price is a tempting prospect, although you’ll likely have to wait a year before reaping the rewards.