The MLB non-tender deadline has come and gone and the Milwaukee Brewers had to make some tough decisions on some players on the 40-man deadline, parting with a couple in particular who were fan favorites.
Three players were non-tendered by the Crew before the 6pm deadline on Friday. Those players were first baseman Rowdy Tellez, starting pitcher Brandon Woodruff, and relief pitcher J.C. Mejia. The trio now become free agents.
With the non-tender decisions that were made on Friday, it leaves the Brewers extremely thin at a vital corner infield position while putting the state of the starting rotation beyond 2024 in question as well.
The Brewers non-tendered three players on Friday: 1B Rowdy Tellez, SP Brandon Woodruff, and RP J.C. Mejia.
Tellez was arguably the least surprising non-tender decision made by the Brewers. WIth the drop in production that he experienced over the last two seasons, it felt highly unlikely that Milwaukee could justify the nearly $6MM that he was projected to be paid in an arbitration year.
The problem with letting Tellez go is that the team is now very thin at the first base position. They acquired Jake Bauers from the Yankees earlier in the day, but he has been about as productive as Tellez in recent seasons. That leaves the likely backup as utility infielder Owen Miller.
The non-tender of Woodruff was a more shocking move than Tellez but not because it was illogical. Since he is potentially due to miss all of the entire 2024 season, his potential raise to a salary near $11MM would have also been hard to justify. The Brewers were rumored to be in trade talks with other teams about Woodruff, but nothing came to fruition.
And while pre-arbitration players often don't get non-tendered since their contracts are so cost-effective, Mejia wasn't so lucky. But after being suspended for 162 games last fall after testing positive for a performance-enhancing drug, the second such suspension of his career, the Brewers apparently decided he was no longer worth the headache.
Nine other arbitration eligible players on the Brewers roster were all tendered contracts on Friday. Those players were infielders Bauers and Willy Adames, outfielder Tyrone Taylor, and pitchers Corbin Burnes, Adrian Houser, Hoby Milner, Joel Payamps, Devin Williams, and Bryse Wilson.
And with that, an action-packed week with two MLB deadlines is complete. Sadly, it also means that the tenure of a couple beloved Brewers players is as well, at least for now.