Everybody seems to want Brandon Woodruff right now except for the Milwaukee Brewers. The more fiscally sensitive Brewers non-tendered Woodruff thus making him one of the more fascinating free agents. There is little doubt the New York Mets are as intrigued as anyone.
Woodruff is expected to miss at least the first half of the 2024 season and that's being generous. A match with the Mets seems perfect beyond just the connection to President of Baseball Operations David Stearns.
The Mets are in a state of unknown where they seem far more interested in competing in 2025 than 2024. It makes Woodruff an ideal risk to rehab for the coming season and see what he can offer in the following. It's just money anyway. Steve Cohen hasn’t been sensitive about spending it. Why stop?
Signing Brandon Woodruff fits the M.O. of the Mets better than any other team
Only recently the Mets added Penn Murfee to the roster through a waiver claim. He was lost to the Atlanta Braves but the point remains the same. Murfee is also hurt and expected to miss significant time next year. While much more affordable, it proved the Mets do have patience.
This attribute is needed for Woodruff. Any team that may sign him needs to expect him to take an entire year off. The Mets unsuccessfully tried this with John Curtiss who missed all of 2022 with the intention of the team seeing what he can offer in 2023. It wasn't memorable.
Woodruff is a much greater in-demand arm. Paying him to sit out the coming year as he heals is the kind of move few teams would be willing to do. Considering how freely the Mets have spent money to improve their ball club, they seem almost ideal for Woodruff. Add in all of those other factors such as Stearns, a pitcher-friendly ballpark, and a potentially highest offer, it feels destined to occur.
Only two negatives stand out aside from him not coming back as good as ever; the risk faced with any injury. One is how his contract could push the Mets' payroll into a penalty bracket. They’ll have to be careful how they spend around Woodruff. The other is how dependent they'll be on him to become an important piece in 2025. Could this get in the way of them doing something like adding Corbin Burnes in free agency? If you have Woodruff on the roster, you’re going to move forward assuming he’s one of your starting five.
The Mets have constantly been ballsy enough to get creative with the financials. Paying a guy like Woodruff knowing he'll sit out a year could be the next move to fit their M.O.