The Chicago Cubs signed Brandon Morrow in the offseason to a two-year deal worth $21 million to be their closer. The results have been impressive so far in 2018, with Morrow saving 22-of-24 chances, posting a 1.47 ERA and striking out 31 batters in 30.2 innings.
Yet, the biggest fear with signing Morrow has unfortunately reared its ugly head. The 33-year-old closer has a long history of injuries and through four months of the season Morrow has been placed on the disabled list twice.
The latest stint is because of biceps inflammation.
Morrow on the DL again. Right biceps inflammation.
— Tony Andracki (@TonyAndracki23) July 19, 2018
The right-hander got an MRI and well, although he sounds optimistic about it, these aren’t necessarily the best things to see come out about your closer.
#Cubs closer Brandon Morrow got an MRI today on right biceps: “I seem to rotate injuries. I never hurt the same place twice. This is a new one, but it’s manageable. We have a good idea of how to proceed and I’m hopeful that it’s just a muscle strain that can clear up.”
— Patrick Mooney (@PJ_Mooney) July 20, 2018
Brandon Morrow had an MRI on his forearm / biceps today . He said there was “stuff in there “ but nothing that needed a long term shutdown .
— Bruce Levine (@MLBBruceLevine) July 20, 2018
If you remember back to the west-coast trip prior to the All-Star break, Morrow wasn’t used in tight games out in San Francisco at first before pitching twice in San Diego.
“The first two days in San Francisco, I had to ask for time off, just hoping I could recover,” Morrow said. “Leading into the All-Star break, that’s a bad time to feel it. I didn’t recover over the three days [during the break]. I let them know [Wednesday] I should get it checked out so we could cover with guys.”
“We thought it was the right time to back off for the latter part of the season,” Maddon said.
The Cubs already made one trade for a reliever, dealing lefty Tyler Thomas to the Texas Rangers for right-handed veteran Jesse Chavez.
Normally when we go over trade rumors on here, I try to make my best guess on whether it’s realistic for the Cubs to make a certain deal and whether x-player is a good fit.
Now, I can’t say who the Cubs are going to make a deal for next, but I guarantee Theo Epstein has at least one more trade up his sleeve and it will be a pitcher.
The latest injury to Morrow only makes the need for another reliever bigger because if we’ve learned one thing in the past three or four years it’s that postseason games are managed completely different. You need those shut down relievers to come in and shorten games and although the Cubs have a very good bullpen right now, they can’t not go after another reliever for at the minimum just insurance if Morrow has another thing pop up late in the season.
On Friday night there was buzz about the Cubs having interest in New York Mets closer Jeurys Familia.
The cubs are thought to have Britton near the top of their wish list. But they, too, are considering Familia.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) July 21, 2018
However, the Cubs were then suddenly out of the picture.
Mets are working to finish a trade of closer Jeurys Familia. Oakland among the team with interest; Cubs not involved.
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) July 21, 2018
As of late Friday night there was no deal completed between the A’s and Mets, but it sure does appear that’s where Familia is heading.
Jeurys Familia headed to Oakland, if the two sides can finish the deal.
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) July 21, 2018
Doesn’t seem as though any potential Jeurys Familia deal is going to get done tonight, source says. So sleep well, Twitter, and don’t be surprised if something happens Saturday.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) July 21, 2018
There is still one big name reliever the Cubs have been linked to for a year now: Baltimore Orioles closer Zach Britton.
After the Orioles officially traded Manny Machado the Los Angeles Dodgers, 670 The Score’s Bruce Levine reported that the Cubs remain a major player for Britton, as Baltimore is looking to trade him away before the deadline.
Orioles GM Dan Duquette on MLB radio just said his next efforts will be to move the Zach Britton trade market forward . Sources point to the Chicago Cubs as a main player if they are convinced he is healthy.
— Bruce Levine (@MLBBruceLevine) July 19, 2018
The Cubs have made multiple trades starting in 2015 to help out the pitching staff and after acquiring Chavez Thursday night you should expect one more deal.
Joe Maddon does.
Maddon when asked if he expects the front office to keep making moves before the deadline, "Oh yeah, I don't think that's going to be the end of it. They enjoy it too much."
— Sahadev Sharma (@sahadevsharma) July 20, 2018
At least one more trade. Guarantee it.
Oh and fingers crossed on a very big deal.