The Dodgers have signed right-handed pitcher Brandon Morrow to a non-roster deal, according to Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports.
Source: Dodgers sign Brandon Morrow to a non-roster deal. He'll be a reliever, and if he stays healthy, he's got a good shot to make team.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) January 26, 2017
If he makes the team, he’ll get $1.25 million, according to Andy McCullough of the Los Angeles Times.
Can confirm Dodgers signed Brandon Morrow to aid the bullpen, as @JeffPassan reported. He'll earn $1.25 million if he makes the roster.
— Andy McCullough (@McCulloughTimes) January 26, 2017
As the tweets say, Morrow will be a reliever and will compete for a bullpen spot.
Morrow is interesting in that he has always seemingly had the ability to be a productive pitcher, as evidenced by being selected two spots ahead of one Clayton Kershaw in the 2006 draft. That ability was showcased in 2012 when he threw 124.2 innings of 2.96 ERA ball, but it all fell apart for him from there.
Morrow has dealt with shoulder, forearm, elbow, hand, and oblique injuries in his career, limiting him to 120.2 innings from 2013-15 as a starter. In 2016, he gave up on the starting role, instead becoming a member of the Padres bullpen. Morrow showed flashes there, putting up a 1.69 ERA in 16 innings (with a 4.37 FIP and 5.26 DRA), but he only threw 16 innings due to lingering problems with shoulder surgery that ended his 2015.
The only highlight I could find was of him fielding a bunt.
The most promising thing here is that Morrow did in fact finish 2016 healthy. Also, his fastball velocity was back up to 94.2 mph, his highest since 2009, and his swinging strike rate was his highest since 2011 (different role noted), and thus it’s possible he could be rounding back into form for 2017. The question is what that form even is at this point.
Either way, this seems like taking a flier on a talented pitcher who has had a tough go of it in his career more than a solution to the shaky bridge to Kenley Jansen. Still, there’s little to complain about unless this is a move that somehow prevents them from finding more sure options at the back-end.
Actually, here’s a look at Morrow from 2016 thanks to @TheDeliMan1.