\n”,”providerName”:”Twitter”,”providerUrl”:” Brewers first baseman also out of bid
MILWAUKEE – Right-hander Brandon Woodruff, who ushered in a wave of homegrown pitchers that led the Brewers to unprecedented regular-season success, became a free agent after the team rescinded his tender on Friday.
Brewers officials reluctantly made the decision on a day when all MLB teams were required to enter arbitration with eligible players or release them. For Woodruff, at least for now, this marks the end of his defiant tenure as an 11th-round draft pick in 2014 who went on to become a two-time All-Star and posted an all-time ERA of 3.10. became. He is a Brewers pitcher who has pitched more than 500 innings, and his shocking home run off Clayton Kershaw in Game 1 of the 2018 NLCS ranks among the top 10 moments in franchise history.
With only one year of control left in 2024 and Woodruff unlikely to be able to pitch much or at all after undergoing right shoulder surgery last month, the Brewers’ bid deadline approaches on Friday. As a longtime ace, he found himself in a difficult position.
“Man, that was a tough call,” GM Matt Arnold said after telling Woodruff the news. “It’s been tough, it’s been emotional. But he’s been great for us in so many ways and I think he still has the potential to be part of our team in the future. But for sure. , it’s always going to be a tough day, that’s for sure,” to deliver the news to someone who means a lot to your franchise. ”
The Brewers also put 2022 home run champion first baseman Rowdy Telles, who struggled with injuries and poor performance in 2023, on a tender rather than move forward with a process expected to reward him with a salary of nearly $6 million, along with reliever J.C. Mejia. I removed it from He received a 162-game PED suspension in September. They joined Woodruff in free agency.
But it wasn’t that simple, especially in Woodruff’s case.
Like Barnes and Adames, Woodruff is in his final year of club control before free agency. Unlike those two, he probably won’t be able to contribute in 2024. Woodruff underwent surgery on Oct. 13 to repair the anterior capsule in his right shoulder, but the surgery leaves only a small chance that he will be able to pitch late next time. season.
So the Brewers were left with a difficult choice.
1. They could offer Woodruff a contract and expect him to pitch at some point in 2024, going through the arbitration process and laying the groundwork for re-signing beyond 2025. That would be a risky and expensive gamble. Woodruff made $10.8 million this season, but given how the arbitration system works, he could actually make more next year.
2. The Brewers and Woodruff’s agent, Bo MacInnis, could negotiate a multi-year deal with the idea that he would rehab in 2024 and then have a chance to rebuild in 2025 or beyond. Due to the nature of the shoulder injury, there is no guarantee that rehabilitation will go smoothly, so this would also be risky and expensive.
3. The Brewers could trade Woodruff to a club willing to try such a deal. But the fact that he wasn’t traded on Friday meant no team was willing to take that risk considering the cost.
4. The Brewers could decline a bid for Woodruff, leaving the door open to re-sign him later.
The last option came to mind. Woodruff is the third starting pitcher the Brewers have lost since the end of the season after Eric Lauer opted for free agency when he was removed from the 40-man roster and Wade Miley declined half of his mutual option. . Barnes could be a trade chip this winter, and with left-hander Aaron Ashby coming off a season lost to a shoulder injury, the key players for next year’s rotation at this point are Freddy Peralta, Colin Ray, And maybe just Hauser. The Brewers like promising pitchers Robert Gasser and Carlos Rodriguez, both of whom are poised to break into the major leagues at some point next season.
“I think we still have a pretty solid foundation,” Arnold said. “Honestly, we didn’t get a lot of innings out of Woodruff last year. We have a number of guys who can step up.”
Although his future employer is unclear, Woodruff plans to move forward with his rehabilitation. He said in a phone conversation earlier this month that his next milestone will be a visit to Dallas with his surgeon, Dr. Keith Meister, eight weeks after surgery.
Even in that case, all schedules are provisional. This applies to any injury, but especially when it comes to the shoulder, which Woodruff learned early last season when he suffered a subscapularis tear. It lasted much longer than he would have liked, with some starts and stops along the way, before returning on August 6th and posting a 4-1 record with a 2.13 ERA in eight great starts, but on September 23rd. They had a huge blunder against the Marlins on Sunday, which in hindsight was a real sign of trouble.
“I’ve talked to multiple doctors and there is certainly a path for him to throw in 2024,” Woodruff said. “There really is. There’s a realistic path. So this comes down to, is he worth pitching in 2024? But there’s a path. You have to set a goal. yeah.
“At the same time, I have to think about the rest of my career. There are many different things to consider. But everything is very positive as far as how the surgery went.”