The MLB non-tender deadline is usually uneventful. However, the Milwaukee Brewers bucked that trend on Friday, releasing two-time All-Star pitcher Brandon Woodruff.
Shortly after the 8 p.m. deadline, Brewers general manager Matt Arnold called the decision to non-tender Woodruff “very difficult.”
“Throughout his 10 seasons in the organization, Brandon Woodruff represented the Brewers with class, kindness, heart and toughness,” Arnold’s statement read. “He is recognized as a tremendous teammate, both on the field and in the community, where he and his wife, Jonie, have positively impacted so many lives around them.”
Arnold did leave the door open for a possible return to the Brewers down the road for Woodruff, but this seems like it’s goodbye for now.
“We remain very open to his return to Milwaukee, and regardless of what uniform he wears next, Woody will always be a member of the Brewers family,” Arnold said.
Woodruff sat out the National League wild-card series against the Arizona Diamondbacks with an injury to the shoulder on his throwing arm. He ultimately had surgery to repair an anterior capsule in mid-October, which will likely keep him off the mound for the entire 2024 season.
The 30-year-old was to make roughly $11 million next season, his final year under Brewers control.
Selected by Milwaukee in the 11th round of the 2014 MLB Draft, Woodruff made his major league debut in 2017, going 46-26 over 115 career starts with the Brewers. Emerging as the team’s ace, Woodruff posted double-digit wins twice, had two All-Star seasons and finished fifth in the National League Cy Young Award voting in 2021.
It’s hard to say what kind of pitcher Woodruff will be when he returns, but he leaves the Brewers as the franchise leader in ERA (3.10) and strikeout-to-walk ratio (4.4).