The Los Angeles Dodgers have key free agents still on the open market but for now appear content with working at the fringes of the roster. The team announced the signings of Carlos Asuaje, Brandon Morrow, Jimmy Nelson, James Pazos and Brock Stewart to Minor League contracts.
The signings represent a return for Morrow, Nelson and Stewart. Morrow last was with the team in 2017, while Stewart departed in 2019 upon being claimed off waivers by the Toronto Blue Jays, and Nelson signed a one-year contract in January but didn’t pitch due to a back injury.
The Dodgers selected Stewart in the sixth round of the 2014 MLB Draft, and he made his debut two years later. The Chicago Cubs picked Stewart in last year’s Rule 5 Draft, though he was waived by the organization prior to ever appearing in a game.
Morrow emerged as a key relief pitcher for the Dodgers in 2017, memorably pitching in all seven games of the World Series that year. He went on to sign a two-year, $21 million contract with the Chicago Cubs that offseason but has been limited by injuries since then.
Morrow’s first season with the Cubs got off to a strong start but was marred by back, biceps and elbow trouble. Elbow surgery and a subsequent setback wound up preventing Morrow from pitching in 2019, and the team declined their option for this year.
However, he was re-signed to a Minor League contract for the 2020 season. Morrow was deemed healthy going into Spring Training this year but suffered a chest strain and one week later a partially torn calf muscle early into camp. The Cubs released the 36-year-old in July.
Asuaje spent parts of three seasons with the San Diego Padres from 2016-18, and was with the Cubs for Spring Training this year. Chicago released him as part of Minor League cuts near the end of May.
Dodgers stacking depth in bullpen
While nothing may come from reuniting with Morrow, the Dodgers at minimum are giving themselves a slew of options. The team previously traded for Corey Knebel, who similarly is looking to have a bounce-back 2020 season.
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