Early in the offseason, thanks to a pair of options decisions due at the same time, and a career trajectory that made for some superficial similarity, I wrote about Brett Anderson and Brandon Morrow as intriguing lottery ticket types for the Cubs to possibly pursue. You can devote only so much of your thinking to dice-rolls – what with Jon Lester on the horizon – but I probably gave a disproportionate amount of thought to those two guys in particular.
Anderson went off the board last night in a pricey one-year deal with the Dodgers, and, because they are linked in spirit if not reality, now Morrow has gone off the board, too.
Corey Brock and Ken Rosenthal report that Morrow, 30, has agreed to a one-year deal with the Padres. Terms aren’t yet out there, but you can figure it’ll be a decent guarantee (though presumably smaller than Anderson’s $10 million, because of his age and superior upside) with a bunch of incentives.
As I’ve said all along after the Lester/Hammel signings, the Cubs don’t need to add another starting pitcher, but it would be nice if they did. They have the depth to roll the dice on these kinds of guys (or a Kris Medlen/Brandon Beachy/Chad Billingsley type), and they have the prospect currency to make a run at a clear upgrade in trade. The question on the latter, however, is whether the Cubs feel that’s the best use of resources right now.
As for the Padres, although they probably can’t count on Morrow as a sure thing, it may give them a little more comfort in shopping their starting pitchers, perhaps in a quest to add another big bat, which they are apparently set on doing.