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Right-hander Brandon Woodruff is returning to the Milwaukee Brewers. The two-time All-Star has agreed to a two-year contract with the Brewers, reports the New York Post. Financial terms are unknown. Woodruff underwent shoulder surgery in October and is expected to miss most or all of 2024. The contract is aimed at 2025.

Woodruff, 31, hurt his shoulder two starts into 2024, then he made nine effective starts after returning in August. His shoulder began to act up again late in the year, however, and he was not part of the team's Wild Card Series roster. Specifically, the surgery repaired Woodruff's anterior capsule. It is a major procedure with a lengthy rehab.

Brandon Woodruff
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Following the surgery the Brewers non-tendered Woodruff rather than pay him north of $11 million through arbitration. The 2024 season was set to be his final year of team control, meaning Milwaukee would have paid Woodruff that $11 or so million to spend the season rehabbing, only to have him become a free agent once healthy.

The new two-year contract likely includes a low base salary for 2024 with a higher salary plus incentives in 2025. If Woodruff gets healthy enough in time to contribute late in 2024, great, though it seems the Brewers and Woodruff are focusing more a complete recovery and a return to the mound next season.

Woodruff pitched to a 2.28 ERA with 74 strikeouts in 67 innings in his 11 starts last season. With Woodruff rehabbing and Corbin Burnes traded, Freddy Peralta will lead a Brewers rotation that also includes Wade Miley, Jake Junis, Colin Rea, and likely DL Hall. Hall came over in the Burnes trade with Baltimore.

The Brewers went 92-70 and won the NL Central in 2023, then were quickly swept by the Diamondbacks in the Wild Card Series. In addition to Burnes being traded, manager Craig Counsell left for the NL Central rival Chicago Cubs over the winter. Bench coach Pat Murphy was promoted to manager.