Dodgers pitcher Brandon Morrow close to signing with Cubs

Brandon Morrow, the right-handed reliever who emerged as one of the Dodgers most reliable arms in the 2017 postseason, is close to signing a two-year agreement with the Chicago Cubs, according to people familiar with the situation.

The people requested anonymity because the contract was pending a physical, and Morrow dealt with a bevy of injuries before starring for the Dodgers in 2017. The contract will net Morrow between $10 million and $11 million a year, according to Fan Rag Sports.

Morrow joined the Dodgers on a minor-league contract in January. He opened the year with triple-A Oklahoma City. Called up in May, Morrow finished the season with a 2.06 earned-run average. He pitched in all seven games of the World Series.

By letting Morrow leave, the Dodgers have continued a well-established pattern of bullpen construction under president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman’s leadership. With closer Kenley Jansen already in the fold, the Dodgers can afford to avoid long-term, expensive commitments to relievers.

Joe Blanton served as Jansen’s primary setup man in 2016. The Dodgers allowed him to walk and brought in a stockpile of relievers, including Morrow. The team is likely to repeat that process this offseason, although the team could search for bargains among a deep class of relief pitchers.

The Dodgers engaged with the Royals last winter in discussions over three-time All-Star Wade Davis, who was eventually traded to the Cubs and is now a free agent. They also scouted three-time All-Star Greg Holland as he returned from Tommy John surgery before the 2017 season. Holland led the National League with 58 saves for the Rockies in his comeback.

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