1. Brandon Woodruff, SP
Brandon Woodruff being non-tendered has been the most shocking event of the offseason so far. He will miss most, if not all of 2024 because of shoulder surgery. 2024 was the final year of arbitration for Woodruff, but it was still a surprise for the Brewers to just release him. THey get no compensation for him, and they lose a true ace for nothing.
Woodruff has a career 3.10 ERA over 680.1 innings, with a 1.04 WHIP. His best season came in 2021, where he finished 5th in NL Cy Young voting. If the Mariners were to sign him, I would expect him to sign a similar deal to Mike Clevinger, when Clev signed with the Padres back in 2021. Clevinger had Tommy John Surgery late in the 2020 season and was going to miss all of 2021. He signed a 2YR/$12M deal with the Padres that offseason. He made less money in year one, while he was recovering from surgery. Then he made the bulk of that $12M in 2022, when he was heathy again.
Woodruff is a true ace, when he is healthy. I would expect him to have a huge number of teams calling him. He will get to choose where he plays in 2024 and beyond. The Mariners really could use a guy like Woodruff, but they also need more pitchers who would be available in 2024, Signing Woodruff would be a luxury the Mariners absolutely can afford, and one that could let the team trade a young pitcher for some much needed hitting without skipping a beat. As always, Go Mariners!