The Milwaukee Brewers non-tendered starting pitcher Brandon Woodruff Friday afternoon. Woodruff, who battled injury all season, only appeared in 11 games for Milwaukee, before suffering a setback before the team’s second wild card game.
Woodruff underwent surgery during the off-season, and won’t pitch for most of the 2024 season. Now, Woodruff will become a free agent for the first time in his career.
When healthy, Woodruff is one of the most dominant starting pitchers in MLB. The Brewers headlined a three-headed monster starting rotation, with 2021 Cy Young Award winner Corbin Burnes, Woodruff and Freddy Peralta.
The trio helped guide Milwaukee to five playoff appearances in six seasons, with the three pitchers catalyzing unprecedented regular season success. While the Brewers constantly boasted a top-five rotation since 2018, the team never exceeded the National League Championship series.
Woodruff spent seven seasons pitching for the Brewers, accumulating two All-Star appearances and finishing fifth in the 2021 Cy Young Award voting. He consistently commanded the mound for Milwaukee, including throwing 27 starts in 2022.
Woodruff missed the first four months of the 2023 season with a shoulder injury. When he returned for 11 starts, he returned to his powerful ways. Woodruff posted a 2.28 ERA over 67 innings — a career-best in a single season. Woodruff’s starts helped lead Milwaukee to its third National League Central title in six seasons.
Woodruff’s dominance led to a Game 2 2023 Wild Card Series start against the eventual NL-champion Arizona Diamondbacks. His inability to perform in the game and 2024 absence played a role in Brandon Woodruff being non-tendered
He was scheduled to make around $12 million in his arbitration-eligible season. Veteran first baseman Rowdy Tellez and relief pitcher J.C Mejía also didn’t receive contract offers. All three players are 2024 free agents.
A two-year prove-it deal would make sense for Woodruff’s free agency offer. When Woodruff fully returns in 2025, he’ll be 32 years old and will have to prove that his season-ending shoulder injury didn’t impact his long-term pitching ability.
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