After an early exit in the playoffs, the Dodgers’ front office will be more motivated than ever to improve the team. However, Andrew Friedman may look to buy low yet again.
With the Cubs declining Brandon Morrow’s 12 million dollar option, he is a prime candidate for a low-cost return. The Dodgers revived Morrow’s career once and could look to try once more.
For the seventh consecutive season, the Dodgers ended their season with a loss in October. This time around it was supposed to be different. Outside of Kenley Jansen, Dave Roberts supposedly had full trust in his bullpen this go around. If he did, it sure did not show.
After 6 2/3 innings of masterful work by Walker Buehler, Roberts did not go to his fully rested bullpen arms. Instead, he went to Clayton Kershaw to face the heart of the Nationals lineup. As we all know, that plan failed miserably.
If Roberts truly trusted his bullpen, he would’ve used them to get the final 7 outs that stood between the Dodgers and an NLCS birth. Rather, he went to his Game 2 starter and the rest was history.
The bullpen is more than likely going to be addressed this off-season. Though the bullpen is in need of an upgrade, it is hard to see the Dodgers spending big on a top free-agent reliever. With Jansen opting in, the Dodgers will spend 26.5 million dollars on just two relievers (Jansen and Kelly).
Therefore, the Dodgers will likely look for cheap relievers and spend elsewhere (Gerrit Cole, please). With this in mind, the Dodgers should take a long and hard look at a Brandon Morrow return.
As stated before, the Cubs have declined his option and made him a free agent. Morrow was an absolute stud for the Dodgers 2017 World Series run. He was a big reason they won their first pennant since 1988.
After his massive season in 2017, Morrow signed a two year $21 million contract. Morrow was dominant again in his limited appearances with Chicago. The reason they declined his option was because of his health.
In two seasons with the club, Morrow pitched just over 30 innings. Meaning he cost them around 700,000 dollars per inning. He missed half of the 2018 season and the entire 2019 campaign.
Nevertheless, Morrow was very productive when he was able to pitch. The biggest and only concern is his health. Morrow underwent minor elbow surgery in November 2018. The Cubs expected to get him back by opening day in 2019.
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However, a plethora of setbacks did not allow him to be ready for opening day. In fact, those setbacks did not even let him get back before the Cubs season ended. The last time Morrow pitched was July 15th, 2018.
That is not exactly ideal. However, this will allow the Dodgers to get him on a cheap deal. Meaning, this would be a low-risk high-reward for the Dodgers. That is something that Friedman has proven he loves. Muncy, Taylor, Blanton, and Morrow were all successes as just that.
Morrow can be exactly that once again. For that short time that he was healthy, he was dominant in Chicago. He posted a 1.47 ERA and struck out 31 in 30.2 innings of work. He also put up an impressive 93 LOB%. Meaning when he was pitching with runners on base, 93% of the time they were not scoring. To put that into perspective, Josh Hader had a 93.2 LOB% in 2019.
Has Morrow been healthy? No. Has Morrow performed when healthy? Yes. It has been over a year since Morrow has appeared in a game. However, if he can get and stay healthy, he can become a deadly weapon for Roberts to hopefully use in high leverage situations.