Yesterday we heard about the Blue Jays and Brandon Morrow nearing a three-year extension. Today it’s final: three years, $20 million with a $10 million team option for 2015. A $1 million buyout makes it a $21 million total commitment.
A gamble? Sure, but not a gigantic one and an average of $7 million a year for three years isn’t much for a guy like him. Yes, Morrow can be erratic and can walk a lot of people, but that stuff and those strikeout rates are the sorts of things that makes images of Randy Johnson dance in teams’ heads.
If he can make a couple of adjustments he’s a top starter, locked up through arbitration and two years of free agency. If he never advances, he’s still useful and gone before he gets way too expensive.
The Cubs’ bullpen got into trouble in the ninth inning on Tuesday afternoon during the first game of a doubleheader. Justin Wilson started the inning with the Cubs leading 3-2, normally a situation for closer Brandon Morrow. Wilson issued a leadoff walk to Austin Barnes, then gave up a single to Justin Turner. Morrow wasn’t warming up, curiously. Wilson ended up giving up a go-ahead two-run double to pinch-hitter Kyle Farmer and the Cubs went on to lose 4-3.
We now know why Morrow wasn’t available. He says his back tightened up taking off his pants early Monday morning, MLB.com’s Carrie Muskat reports. Morrow said, “It’s frustrating any time you can’t get out there, especially when you can’t go for something as stupid as taking your pants off.”
Morrow, 33, has been terrific in the closer’s role this season for the Cubs. He owns a 1.59 ERA with a 25/9 K/BB ratio in 22 2/3 innings. He is also not available for the back end of Tuesday’s doubleheader, but it sounds like he won’t need to go on the disabled list.