If you are looking for unearthed treasures on the Major League Baseball free agent market, look no further than those players recently non-tendered. MLB clubs had until 8 p.m. (Eastern) last Friday to tender a contract offer to players still under team control. Often, a player is non-tendered because the front office does not value them enough to go through the salary arbitration process.
Organizations will be active in the non-tendered portion of the free agent market this winter. Some signings may not work, but there are gems in the group.
Let's take a look at three non-tendered players whom the San Diego Padres should sign immediately:
SP Brandon Woodruff
It was surprising to see Brandon Woodruff on the non-tendered list, as he was a quality starting pitcher for the Milwaukee Brewers. In 2021, Woodruff went 9-10 with a 2.56 ERA to finish fifth for the National League Cy Young Award. However, injuries to his throwing shoulder have limited his availability on the mound of late.
Woodruff missed the first four months of the 2023 season due to a subscapularis strain in his right shoulder. His return to the hill was outstanding, as Woodruff went 5-1 with a 2.28 ERA in 11 starts. He posted 74 strikeouts in 67 innings pitched. Unfortunately, Woodruff suffered another shoulder injury (anterior capsule) that required season-ending surgery.
His status for the 2024 season is unknown at the moment. The Padres would be investing for the future if they pursue Woodruff. The team is hoping he will be completely healthy at some point next season. Woodruff would be a welcome addition to the starting rotation behind Yu Darvish and Joe Musgrove. The Friar Faithful hopes he will match his previous success to ease their concerns.