It’s Official: Cubs sign Brandon Morrow & Drew Smyly to solidify bullpen

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ORLANDO – The worst kept secret around the Cubs became official on Tuesday night, and another pitcher will join the team’s biggest free agent signee in the bullpen.

The Cubs confirmed the signing of Dodgers’ reliever Brandon Morrow to a two-year deal with an option for a third season, which was widely reported as early as Sunday. At the same time, the Cubs also announced a deal with pitcher Drew Smyly to a two-year deal as well as the team continues to add depth to a bullpen in need.

Morrow comes to the Cubs after a yeoman’s postseason in which he pitched in all but one of Los Angeles’ 15 playoff games, posting a 3.95 ERA with 11 strikeouts compared to just two walks. His efforts helped the Dodgers to their first National League pennant since 1988, which included appearances in four of the five games against the Cubs in the National League Division Series.

That was the cap on an outstanding season for Morrow, who posted a stellar 2.06 ERA in 45 appearances, striking out 50 while walking just nine in 43 2/3 innings in which he won all six decisions. Once a starter, Morrow has excelled as a reliever the past two season in Los Angeles and then for the Padres in 2016 where he posted a 1.69 ERA in 18 games.

Smyly comes over to the Cubs after a 2017 he’d probably like to forget, one which injury was his only story to tell. Traded to the Mariners from the Rays in the offseason, the pitcher was on the disabled list to start the year and then underwent Tommy John surgery in the middle of the summer. It’s expected that Smyly wouldn’t be available to the Cubs until the middle of the 2018 season.

Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer says that the starter would probably help the Cubs out of the bullpen that season as much as he can, with the focus on developing him for a full season in 2019.

In five major league seasons with the Tigers and the Rays, Smyly has a 31-27 record with a 3.74 ERA with 552 strikeouts in 570 1/3 innings.