Milwaukee Brewers starting pitcher Brandon Woodruff has revealed that he has undergone shoulder surgery to repair his anterior capsule. This is what kept him from pitching in the Wild Card Series and he is expected to miss most if not all of the 2024 season. There also is some uncertainty as to if he will ever pitch for Milwaukee again because 2024 is his final year of team control.
Also entering their final year of team control is ace Corbin Burnes. Prior to Brandon Woodruff’s injury announcement there was a lot of different thoughts out there as to if Milwaukee should trade Corbin Burnes this off-season or have him play out his final year with the Brewers. A contract extension for a player with his accolades is likely too high of a price for a small market and budget conscious team like Milwaukee to pay.
The question we will dive further into in this article is how Brandon Woodruff’s injury impacts what Milwaukee will do with Corbin Burnes this offseason.
How does Brandon Woodruff missing all or most of 2024 impact what the Milwaukee Brewers do with Corbin Burnes this offseason?
Looking ahead to 2024 Milwaukee is going to want to remain competitive. The best way to do this would be to have a good blend of young and controllable talent but also enough experienced veterans on the team. From a pitching standpoint they introduced Abner Uribe in 2023, but held off on calling up Robert Gasser. Pitchers like Carlos Rodriguez and Jacob Misiorowski could factor into the equation as well in 2024.
Corbin Burnes at this point in his career is a veteran presence. He has not missed a turn through the rotation each of the past two seasons, has 200+ strikeouts during those two years, and has covered 395.2 total innings. With Brandon Woodruff out having Corbin Burnes around will be more important than ever.
This could set Milwaukee up to retain him this off-season and have him play out the 2024 year with no contract in place for 2025. Another possibility, now that Brandon Woodruff is no longer an extension candidate, would be to commit money to Corbin Burnes and secure him long term.
The third option is still trading him, but this would result in the Brewers needing to acquire more starting pitchers this off-season while also likely giving some young players opportunities as well. A dual trade involving both Corbin Burnes and Willy Adames is another idea that could happen as well.
From a team winning standpoint retaining Corbin Burnes for at least one more year is likely the best option. Responding to Brandon Woodruff’s injury news with a Corbin Burnes trade may come across as the team is rebuilding in which Matt Arnold has said time and time again his goal is to remain competitive every year. Having Corbin Burnes on the roster while Brandon Woodruff is out makes the most sense, even if that means letting him enter free agency in 2025 and receiving just a competitive balance pick in return.
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