The very first thing you must read in a post like this – the words that must jump out at you and blanket the entirety of your perspective with a cozy layer of chillbruh – is that we’re talking about a minor league deal.
Remember, a minor league deal for a veteran player means (1) nothing is guaranteed, (2) it’s a freebie opportunity to have the guy in your org for Spring Training and see how he looks, (3) the guy might have to play a while in the minor leagues before he’d even be considered to join the big team, and (4) even if he makes the big league team, his Major League rate is typically low.
OK. Are you appropriately smoothed at the edges?
If so, you can see that it’s a wonderful and perfectly fine idea that the Cubs are reportedly hoping to bring back long lost closer Brandon Morrow on a minor league deal.
— Gordon Wittenmyer (@GDubCub) November 12, 2019
Morrow, 35, went on the shelf in mid-2018 after a great first-half with the Cubs, and hasn’t pitched since. He’s dealt with a stress reaction, biceps issues, a nerve problem, and multiple surgeries/procedures to try to get things right. He had one more procedure in September, from which he’s now recovering, to try to address ongoing nerve issues.
And that’s all after a career that was full of all that same kind of stuff: tantalizingly good performances cut short by injuries and surgeries. I don’t doubt that, when he’s fully healthy, even at 35, he can still be a dominating reliever. But given the track record and the challenge of overcoming injuries fully the older you get, I’m pretty dubious he can actually come back this time.
But the Cubs are nevertheless still monitoring his rehab progress – why not? – and a minor league deal could come together.
“I don’t believe Brandon would sign with anyone else until the Cubs decide what they want to do,” Morrow’s agent Joel Wolfe told the Sun-Times. “The Cubs invested a lot of time into Brandon, and money, of course, and Brandon feels a certain sense of loyalty and obligation back to the Cubs to stay with them if they want him on a minor-league contract or something like that. He signed with the Cubs because he thought they were the best organization out there for him, and he still believes that.”
It sounds like, if Morrow can actually throw somewhat normally in the run-up to Spring Training, he’s probably going to be there with the Cubs. But there’s a loooong way between here and there, and then there’s an even longer way between Spring Training bullpen sessions and pitching in big league games. Nobody should be counting on anything. Just have it in the background of your mind as a possible extreme flyer.