Cubs finalize Brandon Morrow deal, add LHP Drew Smyly with eye on ’19
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LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — As activity finally started to pick up Tuesday night at the Winter Meetings, the Cubs finalized their two-year, $21 million deal with potential closer Brandon Morrow and added left-hander Drew Smyly with an eye on the 2019 pitching staff.
Smyly, who underwent Tommy John surgery in early July, signed a two-year, $10 million deal with the 2019 rotation in mind.
“Anything we get out of him next year will be sort of gravy,” general manager Jed Hoyer said. “We’ll rehab him and hopefully get him back to exactly where he was.”
Before suffering the elbow injury in March with the Mariners, Smyly, 28, went 31-27 with two saves and a 3.74 ERA in 156 career games, including 85 starts with the Tigers and Rays.
The deal reunites Smyly with pitching coach Jim Hickey, who recommended the lefty after Seattle nontendered him.
Smyly will make $3 million in 2018, then a $7 million base salary in 2019, with $6 million more possible in starter-related performance bonuses ($1 million in possible relief-related bonuses).
Morrow, who had breakout year for the Dodgers in 2017, goes from Cubs killer in the playoffs to possible Cubs closer in 2018.
“If we broke camp right now he’d be our closer,” Hoyer said. “We’ll see what the rest of the offseason brings.”
Morrow will make $9 million in 2018 and ’19 and has a $12 million vesting/club option for 2020 (with a $3 million buyout).
Morrow, 33, is 9-0 with two saves and a 2.23 ERA in 68 appearances since 2015.
Note: The Cubs announced a three-year contract extension with radio analyst Ron Coomer.