Cubs with impressive haul adding two pitchers


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Gary Vasquez - USA Today Sports
Gary Vasquez - USA Today Sports

ORLANDO – The Chicago Cubs and right-handed pitcher Brandon Morrow have agreed to terms on a two-year contract that includes a club/vesting option for the 2020 campaign. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Morrow, 33, went 6-0 with 10 holds, two saves and a 2.06 ERA (10 ER/43.2 IP) in 45 relief appearances for the Los Angeles Dodgers last season. He posted a 0.92 WHIP and did not allow a home run in his 43.2 innings pitched. He walked only nine batters while fanning 50, an average of 1.9 walks and 10.3 strikeouts per nine innings. Morrow limited opponents to a .194 batting average, including a .125 mark by left-handed hitters and a .231 mark by righthanders, while his .454 opponents OPS was the lowest mark in the National League by any pitcher with at least 40 appearances.

The righthander saw action in 14 post-season games in 2017, including all seven games of the World Series, and posted no record and a 3.95 ERA (6 ER/13.2 IP). He became only the second pitcher in major league history to appear in seven World Series games, joining Oakland’s Darold Knowles in 1973.

Since moving to the National League in 2015, Morrow has gone 9-0 with 12 holds, two saves and a 2.23 ERA (23 ER/92.2 IP) in 68 outings, all but five in relief.

Overall, Morrow is 51-43 with 35 holds, 18 saves and a 4.05 ERA (373 ER/828.1 IP) in 299 major league appearances (113 starts, 186 relief outings) covering all or part of 11 seasons with the Seattle Mariners (2007-09), Toronto Blue Jays (2010-14), San Diego Padres (2015-16) and Dodgers (2017). He has a 3.13 ERA (64 ER/184.0 IP) in his career as a reliever while he turned in a 4.32 ERA (309 ER/644.1 IP) as a starter. He set career highs with 11 wins, 30 starts and 203 strikeouts with Toronto in 2011, leading the American League with 10.2 strikeouts per nine innings.


Morrow was originally selected by the Mariners in the first round (fifth overall) of the 2006 Draft out of UC Berkeley.

Chicago’s 40-man roster is at 36 players.


ORLANDO – The Chicago Cubs and left-handed pitcher Drew Smyly have agreed to terms on a two-year contract through the 2019 campaign. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Smyly, 28, is 31-27 with two saves and a 3.74 ERA (237 ER/570.1 IP) in 156 major league appearances, 85 as a starter, covering all or part of five major league seasons with the Detroit Tigers (2012-14) and Tampa Bay Rays (2014-16). He was acquired by the Seattle Mariners prior to the 2017 campaign but suffered an elbow injury in March that led to Tommy John surgery in June, and he missed the entire season. Smyly was non-tendered by the Mariners earlier this month.

The southpaw has averaged nearly a strikeout per inning in his career (552 strikeouts in 570.1 innings) while limiting foes to a .243 batting average, including a .202 batting average, .243 on-base percentage and .334 slugging percentage to left-handed hitters. Overall, he has turned in a 1.20 career WHIP and a 3.4 strikeout-to-walk ratio.

Smyly was originally selected by the Tigers in the second round of the 2010 Draft out of the University of Arkansas and made his major league debut with Detroit less than two years later at the age of 22, going 4-3 with 3.99 ERA (44 ER/99.1 IP) in 23 outings (18 starts) in 2012. He pitched exclusively in relief in 2013 (6-0, two saves, 2.37 ERA in 63 outings) before making 67 of his 70 outings from 2014-16 as a starter.

The 6-foot-3, 190-pound Smyly was acquired by Tampa Bay as part of the trade that sent David Price to Detroit on July 31, 2014, and Smyly went 15-15 with a 3.95 ERA (127 ER/289.2 IP) in 49 starts during his time with the Rays through the end of the 2016 season.

Chicago’s 40-man roster is at 37 players.



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