Should the SF Giants take a Flier on Former Brewers Ace Brandon Woodruff?
3. The Short-Term Advantage
Woodruff is far from being as safe a bet as other free agents like Blake Snell ($23.5 annual projected market value) and Yoshinobu Yamamoto ($200 million projected total salary). And, if indeed he is able to land a deal anywhere near $20 million per year, he will only be slightly discounted.
The point to remember when arguing in favor of Woodruff is his contract will require significantly fewer years. It would not be surprising to see Yamamoto land a contract beyond five years with a chance to opt out. Snell, on the other hand, will likely command a seven-plus year deal.
While both have sky-high upsides, the former is totally unproven in MLB, and the latter has several seasons with an inflated ERA and just became the rare Cy Young winner to also lead the league in walks.
Should the Giants want to add an ace without betting the farm on either Snell or Yamamoto, Woodruff represents a much shorter-term option that would require significantly less commitment. In fact, there is even a world in which San Fransisco could elect to add two of these players to totally revamp their starting rotation.
Regardless of which option they choose, the SF Giants should work to establish themselves as one of the leaders to secure Woodruff's services. While he would require a patient approach, this is a move that could pay nice dividends as soon as 2025 and that is why signing makes a lot of sense for a team that tolerates injury risk like the Giants.