Chicago Cubs: A couple former Dodgers pitchers that could boost pen

(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /

As the Chicago Cubs look to restock the bullpen, there are two names from the Los Angeles Dodgers that could give Joe Maddon what he’s looking for.

The Chicago Cubs have been linked to free agent reliever Brandon Morrow this offseason. Morrow came up with the Mariners and Blue Jays where he also started games.

But his best season of-late came out of the Dodger bullpen this past season.


The issues with Morrow have been his well-chronicled injury list. Whether the bicep, forearm, oblique, index finger and two Tommy John surgeries, the list is extensive. As he is more suited for relief than starting, Morrow enjoyed a healthy 2017 where he began the season in Triple-A Oklahoma, the Dodgers’ affiliate.

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In 45 big-league games for the Dodgers, Morrow had two saves, a 2.06 ERA spanning 43 2/3 innings, 50 strikeouts and 0.92 WHIP. Against lefties, he struck out 19 and limited hitters to .125 in 56 at-bats.

A small sample size, but half his overall production.

In 14 postseason games, Morrow pitched 13 2/3 innings, struck out 12 and had a 3.95 ERA. It was his first career postseason.

Worthy risk?

His injury past can cause concern and it is likely he will fetch offers for three, and possibly four years. MLB Trade Rumors predicts three for $24 million. For the Cubs, he would add strength to the back-end of the pen, to go along with Pedro Strop, Carl Edwards, Justin Wilson and whoever will be closing games in 2017.

Chicago got a good look at him in the NLCS when he shut them down over 4 2/3 innings, surrendering one hit and one walk.

Morrow was the second pitcher all-time to pitch in all seven World Series games.

Padding the back end

Tony Watson is another name familiar to Cubs fans, and we’ve spent time on him before. After spending time with the Pirates as their setup man and closer, he was traded to the Dodgers in July.

Watson excelled in middle relief for the Pirates, primarily between 2013-15, when he had a1.97 earned run average over 224 1/3 innings. In each of those three seasons, he pitched at least 71 innings, and opponents slashed .208/.265/.297. Watson pitched the most innings among all relievers in that three-year span, with Pirates closer Mark Melancon, second.

Watson’s 44 walks in those three seasons gave him a rate of 1.77, 11th-best. In 2016, his ERA ballooned to just over 3.00, and he assumed ninth-inning duty once Melancon departed in a mid-season trade to the Nationals.

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Overall for the 2017 season, Watson had a 3.38 ERA over 71 appearances. For the Cubs, he could represent another middle-relief option, who would have more of a set role once again.