4. SP Dakota Hudson
Rounding out the biggest positions of need for the Brewers is the starting rotation. The Crew took two big hits to that group when Wade Miley opted out of his portion of a mutual 2024 contract option and Woodruff was non-tendered yesterday, though he was already going to miss most, if not all, of next season due to injury anyway.
To bolster the rotation, the Brewers could look to another former first rounder in Dakota Hudson. The former 34th overall pick looked to be the potential future ace of the Cardinals staff early in his career. In his first three seasons, he went 67-40 with a 3.17 ERA in 69 games, taking 5th in Rookie of the Year voting in 2019.
But Tommy John surgery in late 2020 derailed all that progress, causing him to miss most of 2021 and put up a combined 4.64 ERA over the last two seasons. The important part is that he is healthy and in the right hands, like those of Brewers pitching development, perhaps he could regain his old dominance.
5. SP Brandon Woodruff
Hey, there's no rule saying you can't re-sign a player right after non-tendering them. And despite the fact that he might not even pitch next season, there's no denying the talent that has been displayed over the years by starting pitcher Brandon Woodruff.
Many fans were hoping that the Brewers might find a way to sign Woodruff to a backloaded two-year deal instead of non-tendering him, expecting then to pay him what he was due to make next year in 2025 instead. Perhaps the two sides were in fact trying to figure out that sort of deal and just ran out of time. So who's to say that they can't still try and work something out?
The nature of a non-tender decision is generally that a player isn't deemed good enough to keep around anymore or doesn't have the production to match a projected arbitration year raise, thus the talent level of the non-tender pool is mostly low on average. Still, that doesn't mean that there aren't some possible diamonds to be found in the rough.