The Cubs signed Brandon Morrow to a two-year contract with a third-year option that came with a buyout, which the team just paid. In all, the Cubs paid Morrow $21 million for half a year of play.
Half a year of dominant play, to be sure: a 1.47 ERA, 1.076 WHIP, 22 saves in 24 appearances.
Since the All-Star break in 2018, Morrow was injured, tried to come back, always had “setbacks” and did not pitch at all, not even in a rehab game.
Now, Gordon Wittenmyer of the Sun-Times reports that Morrow would like to come back to the Cubs:
Morrow, who spent a year and a half of his two-year, $21 million contract on the Cubs injured list, had a “minor” surgery to relieve nerve pressure on his troublesome right elbow at the end of the season. And results have been promising enough so far that he plans to pitch in 2020, said his agent, Joel Wolfe.
And the Cubs are first in line for a minor-league deal that could turn one of their worst free agent signings in recent years a low-cost solution to filling a late-inning bullpen need in 2020.
The Cubs, who paid $3 million to buy out Morrow’s $12 million contract option for next season, are monitoring his rehab with an eye toward taking a flyer on him as they look to stay competitive while maneuvering around a tight payroll.
“I don’t believe Brandon would sign with anyone else until the Cubs decide what they want to do,” Wolfe said. “The Cubs invested a lot of time into Brandon, and money, of course, and Brandon feels a certain sense of loyalty and obligation back to the Cubs to stay with them if they want him on a minor-league contract or something like that.
“He signed with the Cubs because he thought they were the best organization out there for him, and he still believes that.”
According to the article, Morrow has begun a throwing program that supposedly would have him ready to go for spring training. Yes, I know, you’ve heard this kind of thing before regarding Morrow.
Morrow is 35. He’s had quite a number of injuries over his career, but here are his numbers since 2015: 103 appearances (including five starts in 2015 with the Padres), 2.04 ERA, 1.059 WHIP, 2.0 BB/9, 8.2 K/9, only seven home runs allowed in 123⅔ innings.
If, as Morrow’s agent told Wittenmyer, Morrow is interested in signing a minor-league deal to come to spring training, I think I’d be inclined to do it. If he shows he can throw like he did in 2018 before the All-Star break during camp, the Cubs could then offer an incentive-based contract based on appearances or games finished or both. It’s refreshing to see that a player feels a “certain sense of loyalty and obligation” to the Cubs based on his time in the organization, even though all they got was half a season of performance.
Minor league deal? Sure. What do you think?
Brandon Morrow in 2020 on a minor-league deal?
This poll is closed
Sure, why not? Low risk, high reward potentil
Forget it. Been there, done that, move on