Central Notes: Woodruff, Turnbull, Cardinals

MLB Trade Rumors

The Brewers parted ways with right-handed ace Brandon Woodruff ahead of the non-tender deadline late last week, making the 30-year-old a free agent for the first time in his career. Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic discussed the circumstances under which Woodruff became a free agent and his outlook entering the open market this morning, noting that the Brewers did receive interest from multiple clubs ahead of Friday’s deadline in acquiring Woodruff. The return in such a deal would have been negligible, however, and Rosenthal notes that Milwaukee decided to simply non-tender Woodruff rather than ship him to a team he might not prefer to join in exchange for a minimal return.

Now that the Brewers have allowed Woodruff to hit free agency, Rosenthal notes that the right-hander figures to receive two-year offers on the open market, suggesting that the total guarantee could clock in below the two-year, $30.35MM extension Rays righty Tyler Glasnow inked with the Rays last summer. Though Glasnow was in a somewhat similar situation to Woodruff at the time of the deal, having missed the entire 2022 season to that point due to Tommy John surgery, Glasnow was nearing a return from the procedure when he signed on to a deal that would cover his age-29 and -30 campaigns. Woodruff, by contrast, is expected to miss anywhere between six and eighteen months, per Rosenthal, and would be signing on for his age-31 and -32 campaigns.

More from around MLB’s central divisions…

  • Joining Woodruff on the free agent market after being non-tendered by the Tigers is right-hander Spencer Turnbull. Per Chris McCosky of The Detroit News, president of baseball operations tried to trade Turnbull ahead of Friday’s non-tender deadline but was unable to find any takers. The decision to non-tender Turnbull, McCosky notes, comes after a long-running saga of issues between the club’s decision to option Turnbull to Triple-A back in May (a move that was later rescinded due to an at-the-time undisclosed neck injury) and subsequent decision to option him a second time in August while he was working his way back from the neck injury and subsequent toe issue. Tensions between the sides got to the point that McCosky notes Turnbull requested a trade ahead of the trade deadline on August 1 this past summer, though of course no deal wound up occurring back then. Now a free agent, Turnbull figures to be among the more interesting rebound candidates on the rotation market this offseason, given his flashes of success from 2020-21 when he posted a 3.46 ERA and 3.24 FIP across 20 starts.
  • While the Cardinals are known to be in the market for multiple starting pitchers and president of baseball operations John Mozeliak referenced discussions he had with right-hander Aaron Nola’s representation in conversation with Tom Ackerman of KMOX, Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch notes that the club’s interest in Nola never reached the point where the club met with the right-hander or made a formal offer prior to him re-signing with the Phillies earlier today. Though Goold notes that other NL clubs were “actively engaged” in attempting to lure Nola away from Philadelphia, he adds that the Cardinals were not among them, despite indications earlier in the offseason that the club would be interested in Nola’s services this winter. While Nola is now off the market, he’s far from the only top-of-the-market pitching free agent the Cardinals have been connected to this offseason, Veteran right-hander Sonny Gray has been connected to St. Louis multiple times so far this offseason, while the club also has reported interested in NPB star Yoshinobu Yamamoto and a potential reunion with southpaw Jordan Montgomery.

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