It seems inevitable that the Chicago Cubs will target this free agent

The Milwaukee Brewers non-tendered starting pitcher Brandon Woodruff on Friday and it would seem that the Chicago Cubs will have interest.
Sep 23, 2023; Miami, Florida, USA; Milwaukee Brewers starting pitcher Brandon Woodruff (53) throws a
Sep 23, 2023; Miami, Florida, USA; Milwaukee Brewers starting pitcher Brandon Woodruff (53) throws a / Rich Storry-USA TODAY Sports

There was some surprise across Major League Baseball on Friday night when the Milwaukee Brewers announced that they had non-tendered starting pitcher Brandon Woodruff.

It was previously reported that Woodruff would miss most if not all of the 2024 season as he recovers from a capsular tear in his right shoulder and considering the Brewers appear to be headed toward a rebuild, the move to non-tender the two-time All-Star isn't as surprising considering he was projected to earn $11MM in 2024.

For a Chicago Cubs team that is already monitoring the developments between the Brewers and starting pitcher Corbin Burnes, it's likely that they already had Woodruff circled as a player to target next off-season.

Woodruff's free agency this winter will be unique in the sense that he will likely be looking for a team that has the pitching infrastructure to support his recovery from the capsular tear. In case you're wondering, a capsular tear is the very thing that ended Kyle Hendricks' 2022 season in July and the Cubs were able to rehab back to the point where Hendricks stabilized the team's starting rotation this past season when he made his return in May. For that reason alone, Woodruff likely has the Cubs on his early list of teams that he is looking to sign with.

Then, there is the obvious connection. Craig Counsell is the manager of the Chicago Cubs and managed Woodruff during the first seven seasons of his career with the Brewers. Coupling Counsell's experience with managing Woodruff and the pitching infrastructure that the Cubs have in place, this is a pairing that seems inevitable.

It would likely be that Woodruff will sign a two-year deal this off-season with the idea being that he recovers during the first year of the deal and is ready to return to the Major League rotation ahead of the 2025 season.

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