Brandon Morrow, Cubs Agree on 2-Year Contract

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured Columnist

Los Angeles Dodgers' Brandon Morrow throws during the second inning of Game 7 of baseball's World Series against the Houston Astros Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Matt Slocum/Associated Press

The Chicago Cubs announced they have agreed to a free-agent deal with relief pitcher Brandon Morrow on Tuesday that goes through the 2019 season. The deal includes a club option for the 2020 season, according to Carrie Muskat of MLB.com.

Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reported the deal is worth between $10 million and $11 million per season; however, The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal reported the deal will be for two years at $21 million total. Rosenthal added that "Morrow would earn $9M in 2018 and $9M in '19 with a $3M buyout or $12M vesting option for 2020."

Morrow spent the 2017 season with the Los Angeles Dodgers, going 6-0 with a 2.06 ERA, 0.92 WHIP and 50 strikeouts in 45 appearances.

The 33-year-old right-hander has enjoyed previous stints with the Seattle Mariners, Toronto Blue Jays and San Diego Padres in his 11-year MLB career.

He was primarily a starter from 2010 through 2015 before moving into a bullpen role with the Padres in 2016.

His 1.69 ERA in 18 appearances that season compelled the Dodgers to sign him, and he became a key part of their pen in 2017.

Morrow made 14 appearances during L.A.'s postseason run to the World Series, compiling a 3.95 ERA. He struggled mightily against the Houston Astros in the Fall Classic with an 8.44 ERA in seven games.

The Cubs were sixth in bullpen ERA last season at 3.80 and seventh with 19 blown saves.

With closer Wade Davis available via free agency, however, the Cubs needed to strengthen their bullpen.

While Morrow has limited closing experience, he is a strong candidate to fill that role for Chicago in 2018 if it is unable to re-sign Davis.

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