The Milwaukee Brewers made one of the hardest decisions in franchise history as they have non-tendered Brandon Woodruff. He will now become a free agent and can sign with any team, which does include the Brewers themselves.
This news comes on the same day the Brewers made a trade for Jake Bauers and also non-tendered Rowdy Tellez.
The news that Woodruff may not be back with the Brewers in 2024 and beyond is devastating. He is one of the faces of the franchise and has given Milwaukee fans countless moments to remember, including his legendary home run off Clayton Kershaw in the 2018 NLCS and the complete game shutout he pitched against the Miami Marlins just a couple months ago.
The hard truth that will be hard for the Milwaukee Brewers fanbase to hear is that this was a necessary move for the Brewers to make.
Why would the Milwaukee Brewers non-tender Brandon Woodruff?
Unfortunately, the reason Woodruff has been non-tendered, comes down almost entirely to the shoulder injury that was reported right before the Brewers were set to begin their Wild Card round series with the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Milwaukee was preparing to have Corbin Burnes in game one, Woodruff in game two, and looking ahead to who the Brewers could face in the second round of the playoffs. Then the heartbreaking news came that Brandon Woodruff would not be making his start and was seeking a second opinion on his shoulder injury.
Later, it was announced that Woodruff's injury was severe and he would miss most, if not all, of the 2024 season. That is the unfortunate fact that led to them not tendering him a contract ahead of the November 17th deadline.
The fact of the matter is, it doesn't make much sense for any team, especially a small market team like the Brewers, to pay a player who was on track to earn approximately $11MM in 2024 to not even pitch for the team.
There was speculation that the Brewers could look to extend Woodruff to a two-year deal that would pay him a small salary in 2024 and near his arbitration rate in 2025. That is still a possibility given the rumors that the Brewers were listening to offers on Woodruff that did not come to fruition.
Had the Brewers made the decision to trade Woodruff, the return would not be what his performance has been worth because of the shoulder injury that will keep him out basically all of next season. Imagining the fallout among Brewers fans for the Brewers getting a return that reflected sending out a player that won't play next year is not worth thinking about.
That being said, it doesn't take away the sting that Woodruff is not currently under contract with the Brewers right now. However, this may be the best way forward to ensuring that he ends up back with the Brewers for the long term future.
No matter what happens, we wish a speedy recovery to Woody, and will always love what he's done wearing a Brewers uniform and we hope to see him in another one when he's back to being healthy.