Mariners and Diamondbacks talking to the Tigers about Rick Porcello

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Both the M’s and the Diamondbacks have made significant trades with Dave Dombrowski’s Tigers in recent years. So this is not terribly surprising:

 

I wonder if this is serious or, rather, if this is being floated by the Tigers in order to goose the Cubs and/or Orioles into going further down the road with that three-team trade rumored last week.

In other news, it’s really hard to tell what’s real and what’s just being thrown out there for perception and leverage this time of year.

Brandon Morrow shut down for the rest of the season

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Cubs closer Brandon Morrow has been out since the All-Star break with a bone bruise and biceps inflammation. In recent days there had been hope that he would be activated in the season’s final two weeks in order to be ready for the playoffs, but that’s not happening: Theo Epstein just said that Morrow is done for the season.

It’s not the first time good expectations for Morrow’s recovery were not met. When he was placed on the DL back in July manager Joe Maddon said he didn’t anticipate Morrow being on the DL for much more than the minimum 10 days. Two months later and here we are.

Morrow, 34, had an excellent season until the arm trouble started, saving 22 games with a 1.47 ERA and a 31/9 K/BB ratio in 30.2 innings. Once he went out the closer’s duties fell to Pedro Strop. Now Strop too is out for at least the rest of the regular season and likely more due to a hamstring strain he suffered last week while running the bases.

Bullpens become a lot more important in the postseason. The Cubs’ bullpen is becoming thinner.