Right-hander Brandon Woodruff, a two-time All-Star who might miss the full 2024 season due to injury, was non-tendered by the Milwaukee Brewers on Friday, making him a free agent.
Woodruff made $10.8 million this year, when he was limited to 11 starts due to health issues, and he would have been in line for a higher salary in 2024 via arbitration.
The right shoulder injury that kept him out of most of the 2023 season recurred before the playoffs, and he underwent surgery to repair the anterior capsule on Oct. 13. It’s questionable if he could return before the end of the 2024 season, which prompted the Brewers to make the cost-cutting move on Friday.
Milwaukee general manager Matt Arnold said of telling Woodruff the news, “Man, that was a tough phone call. It was tough, it was emotional. But he’s been awesome for us in so many ways, and I still think there’s a chance he could be part of our team in the future. But yeah, it’s certainly a tough day any time you have to deliver news to somebody who means that much to your franchise.”
The Brewers also non-tendered reliever J.C. Mejia, who is in the middle of a 162-game suspension for violating baseball’s ban on performance-enhancing substances, and slugging first baseman Rowdy Tellez.
Woodruff, 30, went 5-1 with a 2.28 ERA this year, raising his career mark to 46-26 with a 3.10 ERA in 130 games (115 starts).
Tellez, 28, hit 35 homers in 2022 but had just 13 in 2023, when he batted .215 with a .291 on-base percentage and a .376 slugging percentage. In six major league seasons with the Toronto Blue Jays (2018-21) and Milwaukee (2021-23), he has a .233/.304/.446 batting line with 92 homers and 263 RBIs in 533 games.
Mejia, 27, went 1-0 with a 5.56 ERA in nine relief outings for Milwaukee this year. He has a 2-7 record with an 8.32 ERA in 28 games (11 starts) for the Cleveland Guardians in 2021 and the Brewers the past three seasons.