RUMOR: Cubs could re-sign Brandon Morrow
Brandon Morrow’s tenure with the Chicago Cubs was anything but enjoyable. The right-hander was one of the best closers in baseball during the first half of the 2019 season, but then… he hit the shelf indefinitely.
Morrow did not pitch in the second half of 2018 due to a bicep issue, then had elbow surgery in the offseason. Although Cubs brass had hoped that he would recover in time to help the team down the stretch, Morrow was forced to undergo another procedure this August, and was shut down for the remainder of the year.
As expected, the Cubs declined their option on Morrow for 2020. However, there is a very real possibility that the two sides could come to terms on a new deal.
According to Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times, the Cubs have been tracking Morrow’s progression throughout his rehab, and Morrow’s agent–Joel Wolfe–seems to think that Morrow feels a sense of obligation to the organization:
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.”
If healthy–and that is a big “if” given recent events–Morrow could be a boon for Chicago’s bullpen.
The Cubs are losing the likes of Steve Cishek, Brandon Kintzler and Pedro Strop in free agency. Should Morrow be available on a low-cost deal, he would provide the Cubs with a legitimate late-game option that could also spell Craig Kimbrel in the closer role.