Chicago Cubs: Top 3 Cubs rumors that may be true

Anthony Rizzo / Chicago Cubs (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Anthony Rizzo / Chicago Cubs (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs
Brandon Morrow #15, Chicago Cubs (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

Chicago Cubs: Will Brandon Morrow return and challenge?

If there’s one Cubs pitcher that fans have a bit of a gripe with and for a good reason, it’s Brandon Morrow.  Morrow came to Chicago, a victim of his own success.  Morrow had pitched some fantastic stuff in the World Series and against the Cubs in the 2017 postseason.

What no one knew was that Morrow was already seriously injured, and although he passed his physical to join the Cubs in 2018, his arm was in no real shape to pitch anything.

Yet he did pitch in 35 games and finished 30 of them with 31 strikeouts and a 1.47 ERA.  After that, Morrow couldn’t throw the ball any longer the way he used to. In 2019, Morrow had surgery and tried to recover again, hopefully in time to help the Cubs, but he couldn’t get there and so all the sightings of Morrow at the end of last season, never developed into any appearance on the mound for the Cubs.

The Cubs were ready to part ways with Morrow (understandably) when the decision was made to offer him a substantially lower-paying minor league deal with tons of incentives to get back to the mound.

It’s the kind of deal that Morrow should have gotten the first time around, and he and the Cubs both know it, but – water under the bridge. The Cubs are thinking, “We already invested so much time and money in this guy to get him back on the mound, and he’s dangerously close to being there. Why not let the horse finish the race and see if he’s got one last lap in him?

So Morrow continued to train and work in the offseason and has ‘shown up’ to Spring Training.

What about the rumor of Morrow challenging Cubs closer, Craig Kimbrel for his job?

The Cubs already blew the Morrow investment. They put a lot of money into a guy who didn’t play. They are not about to blow the Kimbrel investment by playing Morrow now and sitting Kimbrel. Think of Morrow more as veteran support and relief, and he might surprise his critics this season. What I’m most afraid of is the typical Morrow scenario where he comes in and pitches one dynamite inning for the Cubs, and then he’s back on the injured list – again.

Can Morrow make a difference?

If Morrow can stay healthy, he will begin to earn some of those incentives and, of course, will take the pressure off closer Craig Kimbrel. This scenario will give the Cubs an All-Star caliber closer, ready on the bench to back up Kimbrel.

If it works, the Cubs closing pitching could be the deadliest in the game with the Kimbrel-Morrow combination. If Morrow can show some longevity without injury, then I think the Cubs will have won a significant victory and saved millions of dollars.

If Morrow’s health takes a dive, then nothing ventured, nothing gained for the Cubs who still have an All-Star closer in Kimbrel.

Everyone in Chicago is buzzing about who will be the next leadoff hitter in 2020? Let’s put some truth behind the rumors.