Two More Interesting Arms Now on the Free Agent Market: Brett Anderson and Brandon Morrow

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Two More Interesting Arms Now on the Free Agent Market: Brett Anderson and Brandon Morrow

Chicago Cubs

optionOptions decisions continue to roll in, and a couple of potentially relevant ones just happened: the Rockies declined (reportedly) their $12.5 million option on Brett Anderson ($1.5 million buyout), and the Blue Jays declined their $10 million option on Brandon Morrow ($1 million buyout).

I wrote yesterday about each pitcher as an intriguing buy-low target if they made it onto the market:

If [the Rockies] do [decline his option], Anderson is very much a guy I’d like to see the Cubs pursue on a short-term commitment. Yes, injuries. But, man, the guy is 26, has been very effective when healthy, and the injuries seem to be somewhat flukey. If you could get him on a one-year, $6 million deal with a team option for 2016 at, say, $10 million with a $2 million buyout (trying to make it realistic, because he’s not going to give up that option year without it coming at a decent price and with a decent buyout attached), you just have to do it. That’s an $8 million roll of the dice that could wind up providing you an excellent starter for two years and just $16 million.

I’m very interested to see what happens with the Blue Jays and Brandon Morrow ($10 million team option, $1 million buyout). The 30-year-old righty has dealt with injury issues the last two years, but, when he’s been healthy, the peripherals have been solid, and he’s still flashing upper-90s heat. Do the struggles and the injuries of the last two years temper enthusiasm? Definitely. But the bones there are very interesting, especially on a guy who may have to settle for a prove-it deal.

To be sure, you’d want to know that the Cubs explored the top tier and second tier of pitching first before going after one of these guys, and, let’s be honest, the Cubs have so much back-end depth as it is. But, at least with respect to Anderson, there’s no argument that his upside is as high as any second tier option out there. If his back surgery (I know, unnerving) was successful, how could you not want to take a chance on a low-cost 26-year-old who has been so darn good when healthy? And with the Cubs’ depth, they might be an ideal team to take him on and not fear that if another injury strikes, they won’t be left without options.

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Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.