(670 The Score) The Cubs are on the verge of filling the large void in the back end of their bullpen.
Chicago has agreed to a deal with right-handed reliever Brandon Morrow, Yahoo Sports’ Jeff Passan reported Sunday afternoon. It’s a two-year deal with an option for a third year, and it’s pending a physical. The deal is for $9 million in 2018 and 2019 and then includes a $3 million buyout option or a $12 million vesting option for 2020, The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reported. So the deal would guarantee Morrow at least $21 million.
Morrow is a prime candidate to take over the closer’s role, which was a primary need as Wade Davis hit free agency. Davis remains unsigned, though a return to Chicago isn’t expected.
Morrow, 33, served as the Dodgers’ primary setup man in 2017 as they reached the World Series. He had a 2.06 ERA and 0.92 WHIP in 45 appearances. He had dominant stuff, registering a 10.3 strikeout-per-nine-innings rate and just a 1.9 walks-per-nine-innings mark.
Morrow proved to be durable as well, tying a record by appearing in all seven World Series games and pitching in 14 of the Dodgers’ 15 postseason games.
Morrow spent most of his career as a starter before remaking himself into a dominant reliever, a process that started in 2016.
The addition of Morrow will allow the Cubs to keep C.J. Edwards in a setup role. He has what the team believes is the talent to eventually become a closer but too often struggled with his command.