After Wade Davis and Greg Holland, in no particular order, Brandon Morrow is widely considered the next-best right-handed relief pitcher available in free agency. That’s of interest to the Chicago Cubs, Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants, among other clubs.
It’s a stark contrast for Morrow, who last January signed a Minor League contract with the Dodgers. Now, he’s viewed as a key piece for the Dodgers to retain, or someone to help improve the Cubs’ or Giants’ bullpens.
Chicago relievers were strong during the regular season but faltered in the playoffs. In addition to looking to bolster the group, the Cubs may need to find a new closer.
According to Patrick Mooney of NBC Sports Chicago, they view Morrow as a potential solution:
To find a ninth-inning solution, the Cubs have identified options like converted starter/setup guy Brandon Morrow, who shut them down during the National League Championship Series and appeared in 14 of 15 playoff games for the Los Angeles Dodgers.
It’s believed the Cubs have interest in re-signing Davis, but he may command a contract in the neighborhood of the four years and $62 million Mark Melancon received from the Giants last offseason.
The 2017 season was only Morrow’s second pitching exclusively out of the bullpen, and his first since doing so as a rookie in 2003. Morrow’s velocity profiles as a closer, and it’s a role he’s open to filling, but not one he feels beholden too.
The 33-year-old on multiple occasions has expressed a desire to re-sign with the Dodgers, and recently said being part of a team that’s in contention to win a World Series was one of his priorities.
Morrow went 6-0 with a 2.06 ERA, 1.55 FIP, 0.92 WHIP and 50 strikeouts in 43.2 innings across 45 appearances during the regular season. He was stellar in the National League Division Series and Championship Series, and for much of the World Series.
He finished with 3.95 ERA in 14 postseason games, collecting 12 strikeouts against two walks in 13.2 innings pitched.