The Cubs have released right-handed hurler Brandon Morrow, according to the latest transactions report from Baseball America’s Chris Hilburn-Trenkle. He had been with the organization on a minor-league deal.
This would appear to bring an end to the saga of Morrow’s tenure with the Cubs. He had already wrapped up a two-year deal that began with immense promise and ended in disappointment. An attempted comeback this season ran into trouble from the jump, as Morrow was sidelined early in camp with a calf injury.
Soon to turn 36, Morrow last threw in the majors in the first half of the 2018 season. But it sounds as if he’s still hoping to take another crack at getting his roller-coaster career back on track with another organization. Morrow is presently recovering from a “minor nerve procedure,” per Jon Heyman of MLB Network (Twitter link), but will attempt to play in 2020.
It may seem like an unlikely quest, but it’s worth remembering just how good Morrow was when last we saw him. In 30 2/3 innings for the Cubs, he racked up 22 saves and allowed just five earned runs with a 31:9 K/BB ratio. When he first experienced mid-season forearm issues, the hope was that he’d only be out for a brief stretch. Unfortunately, that did not prove to be the case.
Morrow’s entire career has been marked by ups and downs, with health generally playing a significant role. The former fifth overall pick showed ample talent at times with the Mariners and Blue Jays, but never consistently delivered results while dealing with intermittent arm problems. He had some moments in a halting attempt to get back in a groove with the Padres, but only managed to throw 49 innings over two seasons.
It all finally seemed to come together with the Dodgers in 2017, as Morrow emerged as a late-inning force over the course of the season and through a run to the World Series. The L.A. organization came to rely upon him heavily, calling upon him for 13 2/3 innings over the postseason — including appearances in every single contest of the seven-game World Series. Morrow answered the bell repeatedly, outside of a Game 5 blip. While that showing ultimately earned Morrow a two-year, $21MM deal, it may also have set the stage for the eventual recurrence of the arm issues that had limited him earlier in his career.
Would be very surprised if he doesn’t latch on somewhere in the lower half of the league
Morrow had a minor nerve procedure and will take a bit of time to ramp up, pretty much will not be ready to open the season and needs time to get into game shape and why the Cubs released him. Also has not pitched since mid 2018 due to layers are arms issues.
Also I see Morrow opting out of this season anyhow, he is a type 1 Diabetic, so it would be smart for him to sit out.
Very fair assessment. I think as a bullpen piece for a non-contender he’ll be picked up later on. Maybe even soon to get him with the team and starting his recovery and rehab and whatnot. If he can be healthy (unlikely) he could be an okay chip.
Wasnt he already in the lower half of the league???
Haha good point
Like Trevor Rosenthal?
Brandon Morrow was born with glass bones and paper skin.
Every morning he breaks his leg, and every afternoon he breaks his arm.
wild bill tetley
He has type 1 diabetes and this generally makes you more susceptible to injury and much slower to heal.
Sign him Baltimore
Seems unfair to blame an umpire for his problems: “An attempted comeback this season ran into trouble from the ump …”
Yea I didn’t quite get that either. Morrow has brittle bone syndrome. He was a dodger beast though
Must be a typo. Never heard that phrase before.
shouldn’t it be ‘from the jump’?
Yeah that’s what I was going for … just wanted to make sure everyone was paying attention 😉
mid 30’s pitcher who averages 21 games a season for last 6 seasons played in a world of 60 game baseball that ain’t bad for right now.
He’s another minor league deal and a few good healthy weeks away from cashing in, again.
I think he’s over $50 million in career earnings now.
Dang. Hope he lands somewhere.
And to think, the guy hurt himself taking his pants off. And then he never threw another pitch for the Chicago Cubs.
He was pretty good with the Dallas Stars.
Come back to the Dodgers
Dilly dilly to that!
Dave Roberts and the Dodgers owe him an opportunity after absolutely running his arm into the ground in the playoffs.
It’s a shame the Cubs couldn’t see that before they signed him. I think a lot of people in the industry thought he couldn’t stay healthy when he signed.Theo and company are good at trading for players but besides Lester and Zobrist most of the of the free agent signs have been terrible deals for the Cubs
Just one of the many “great” deals by Theo. Theo’s first ever with Cubs was trading DJ Lamahieu for Ian Stewart and obviously he continues to waste millions & millions on free agents but somehow most Cubs fans turn a blind eye to that.
wild bill tetley
The Dodgers “owe” him? Oh yes, because Morrow was a picture of health before going to LA. Whatever he was owed was paid for by the Chicago Cubs.
I really liked him over his career with the ms but all the injuries man….. it’s too bad
Agreed. But I always felt the M’s jerked him around needlessly. Is he a starter? A reliever? Oh no, he’s a starter again. No a reliever. Hey Brandon, what do you want to be?
a nice 60th man for any good team, but my guess is he opts out or retires if he doesnt make a 30.
Phils need RHP set up but I think you might be right about retiring if he doesn’t make a 30
Dodgers ran him into the ground in 2017. Never should have signed him
$21 million and change for 30 innings of work for the Cubs. Great work if you can find it.
Only in America!
88good ol days
Wow. I knew this but seeing it in writing is mind blowing. That needs to change. If you ever wonder why owners might be jerks sometimes, look here.
We Mariner fans will always remember him as the guy they took instead of hometown boy Tim Lincecum.. The M’s didn’t think The Freak would hold up for the long haul and they were right. But Morrow’s been chronically injured himself. He could touch 100 on the gun and he’s made around fifty million dollars so good for him and I hope he pitches again. As for Lincecum, it would have been great to have him paired with The King for a few seasons. But he had his legendary time with the Giants and was so fun to watch.
If he had just gone to the bullpen. Jays put him there at the start. He wanted to be a starter and a few good games then kaput.
wild bill tetley
At no point was Toronto grooming him as a reliever. He was acquired to start. That was Anthopoulos’ intention when he got Morrow. And Morrow didn’t have a relief appearance until year number 5 with the Jays.
Does the minimum batter rule also change his worth with his injury history now?
Astros were on to him in game 5. 4 batters, 6 pitches, 4 runs.
What I just noticed about this guy is really unique. His stats are all over the place, but what is more is the fact that his FIP doesn’t match his ERA in about 80% of the seasons he’s pitched. His FIP is either better or worse, and several years his FIP is a whole run or more over or under that same year’s ERA. In most cases, ERA and FIP show some correlation. Not as much with this guy.
That tells me that you really don’t know what you’ll get from him. He’s worth a gamble.
Hope he saved a lot of that 21 million dollar contract. His body obviously is built for the MLB grind.
wild bill tetley
Atlanta has probably called Morrow’s agent. Could see a spring training invite in 2021. Don’t see him playing this year if-healthy due to his diabetes.
We let Wade Davis walk and signed him.