With the recent announcements of non-tendered players around the MLB, a few more players have become available for teams to pursue in free agency. In the case of the Philadelphia Phillies, most of the recently added names probably don’t even move the needle.
Still, there are two obvious, intriguing options they could pursue in signing: Milwaukee Brewers former co-ace Brandon Woodruff and former Toronto Blue Jays reliever Adam Cimber.
It's not every day one sees an ace-caliber pitcher be non-tendered and let go to free agency. But that's exactly what happened to the Brewers’ bonafide starting pitcher Brandon Woodruff. Woodruff recently underwent shoulder surgery that will put him out for most, if not all, of the 2024 MLB season. It has been rumored that despite the Brewers offering Woodruff a potential two-year deal, he quickly turned it down.
Woodruff, no doubt, has been one of the top pitchers in the game for the past few seasons, forming a strong dynamic duo with Corbin Burnes in leading the Brewers to their recent success. Over his seven-year MLB career, he has posted a stellar 46-26 winning record with a 3.10 ERA and 1.05 WHIP, along with 788 strikeouts in just 680 1/3 innings pitched.
Based on his dominant track record, he would fit in seamlessly with the Phillies’ front end of the rotation. Perhaps he could even take over for the Phillies as the ace of their pitching staff. The key is that the Phillies would need to be patient since he may not be back until 2025. But once he is back, the three-headed monster of Zack Wheeler, Aaron Nola, and Woodruff could match up against any team in the league with great success.
Adam Cimber had a forgettable season with the Jays in which he was plagued by inconsistency and injuries throughout the season. As a result, he put together the worst year of his career by going 0-2 with an unfathomable 7.40 ERA and 1.55 WHIP, giving up 17 earned runs, including six home runs in just 20 2/3 innings of work.
Based on his previous track record, the 2023 season appears to be more of an anomaly than a regression for Cimber, as he had been one of the more reliable relievers in the game since making his major league debut in 2018. With a career 3.49 ERA and 1.21 WHIP, he will want to show everyone once again in 2024 that he can be the effective reliever everyone expects of him.
He would fit well with the Phillies because the ballclub is already loaded with heavy flamethrowers in their relief corps. Cimber's slower, funky-angle delivery would provide the ideal complementary contrast in their bullpen to throw opposing hitters off. Together, the Phillies’ bullpen could become an unstoppable force.
Of course, just signing these two pitchers won’t automatically guarantee the Phillies a World Series championship, but it will most certainly make them stronger contenders for the near future.