Brandon Woodruff has been one of the better starters in MLB over the last few years. Even making only 11 starts in 2023, he posted 2.4 bWAR and has averaged 3.2 bWAR over the last five seasons. That, of course, includes the abbreviated 2020 season.
Woodruff underwent shoulder surgery last month and is expected to miss the entire 2024 season.
Thus, the Brewers non-tendered him Friday, making him a free agent.
Obviously, new Cubs manager Craig Counsell is quite familiar with Woodruff and what he can add to a starting rotation.
2024 would be Woodruff’s age-31 season. Thus any team that signed him would be paying for his age-32 season (and beyond). There’s no guarantee he recovers from the surgery to be anything like he was before it.
But the chance that he will might make it worth the risk.
Woodruff made $10.8 million in 2023 and MLB Trade Rumors projected a 2024 salary of $11.6 million for him in arbitration, which, had he been healthy, probably would have been somewhat low.
So what if the Cubs offered a two-year deal for $16 million — $1 million for 2024, plus a team option for $15 million for 2025. Tack on another team option for $18 million in 2026, which would likely be well worth it if Woodruff is healthy. That would make it three years and $35 million if he’s healthy and productive, a relative bargain.
Who says no?
This poll is closed
... the Cubs should sign him to a deal like the one proposed in the article
... the Cubs should sign him, but to a different deal in dollars or years or both
... the Cubs should not sign him
Something else (leave in comments)