The Brewers are in agreement with star hurler Brandon Woodruff on a $10.8MM deal to avoid arbitration, reports Jeff Passan of ESPN (Twitter link). They’ll avoid a hearing in the third of four trips through the process for Woodruff, who first qualified as a Super Two player during the 2020-21 offseason.
A former 11th-round pick, Woodruff has broken out as one of the game’s best starters. He’s a two-time All-Star who hasn’t posted an ERA above 3.05 in any of the past three seasons. Woodruff struck out 30.6% of opponents over 27 starts last season, with a three-week absence due to a high ankle sprain the only black mark on his year.
MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz projected Woodruff for an $11MM salary. His deal comes up in a tick below that but not meaningfully so, and he’s set up well for another raise in 2024. He’ll reach free agency for the first time at the end of the ’24 campaign, when he’d be headed into his age-32 season.
There’s been a fair bit of speculation about the possibility of Milwaukee making Woodruff or ace Corbin Burnes available in trade talks at some point. The Brewers typically run player payrolls a bit lower than average and have shown a general willingness to listen to trade offers on star players in their arbitration seasons. That doesn’t seem to be a consideration this offseason, as Milwaukee has reportedly taken Burnes, Woodruff and Willy Adames off the table in talks this winter.