The Padres and right-hander Brandon Morrow are in agreement on a minor league contract with an invite to Major League Spring Training, reports MLB.com’s Corey Brock (via Twitter). The Wasserman Media Group client spent the 2015 campaign in San Diego but, as Brock notes, was limited to just five starts due to a right shoulder impingement that ultimately required surgical repair. The August operation was said to come with a recovery time of three to four months, so Morrow should be nearly back to health at this stage.
Morrow, 31, has proven to be an exceptional talent when healthy, but has unfortunately been too injury prone throughout his career to demonstrate that talent for sustained periods. In 2012, he worked to a 2.96 ERA with a 108-to-41 K/BB ratio in 124 2/3 innings, but that marked the last time that Morrow was able to reach even 55 innings in a single season. In 120 2/3 frames since that time, he has an ERA of 4.85, though he was excellent in his five appearances with San Diego last year, recording a 2.73 ERA with a 23-to-7 K/BB ratio in 33 innings.
Formerly the No. 5 overall pick in the 2006 draft, Morrow has seen time both as a high-leverage reliever and as a starting pitcher in parts of nine seasons at the Major League level. Morrow could conceivably help the Padres in either capacity, as the team could use depth in both areas, though his specific role, if healthy, remains undetermined. It’s possible that no decision will be made on that front until the club sees how his surgically repaired shoulder looks in Spring Training this year.