MLBTR recently ran a poll asking readers what the Brewers should do with injured starter Brandon Woodruff ahead of Friday’s MLB’s tender deadline: 59% of respondents agreed they should non-tender him unless he agreed to a pre-tender deal with more favorable terms than his one-year, $11.6M arbitration projection.
He was indeed non-tendered Friday after undergoing shoulder surgery on his throwing arm following only 11 starts in 2023 due to shoulder inflammation. He’ll likely miss most, if not all of the 2024 season, but as MLB notes, “When healthy, Woodruff has proven to be one of baseball’s best pitchers, posting a 2.93 ERA with 709 K’s and 148 walks over 595 innings since the beginning of 2019.”
So while no longer a trade target per se, could the Blue Jays get creative with Woodruff, who is now a free agent? Could Toronto structure a deal à la Chad Green with different team and player options that would allow him to recover in 2024, but potentially provide starting pitching upside in 2025? It's worth noting that Yusei Kikuchi is set to become a free agent after the 2024 season and Chris Bassitt will after 2025, so signing Woodruff to a multi-year pact now may be wise.