Breaking: Extending Brandon Morrow

According to Shi Davidi of Rogers Sportsnet, a division of the same company that owns the Toronto Blue Jays, the team is nearing a three year contract extension for Brandon Morrow that will guarantee the starting pitcher $21 million, with a $1 million buyout for a 2015 club option forĀ $10 million after his age 30 season.

07:30 Update: The contract has been signed, as confirmed by an announcement by the team.

The deal takes care of Morrow’s second and third year of arbitration eligibility, as well as his first year of free agency at the very least. In a worst case scenario the team would have to pay the flame throwing starter $4.2 million in arbitration for 2012.

Morrow has shown flashes of brilliance in his time as a full time Major League starter, striking out a higher percentage of batters over the last two seasons than any other starter in baseball. However, that’s also been matched with difficulties performing to that same level with runners on base as well as some good old fashioned bad luck (among 86 qualified pitchers during that same time period, Morrow has the sixth worst strand rate).

In fact, many of the numbers most likely to be used in arbitration cases don’t paint Morrow as the dominant pitcher that more advanced metrics do. Adding to these concerns, is his injury history, not only as a diabetic, but also as a pitcher who has had to visit the DL in Spring Training in each of the last four seasons for either shoulder or forearm problems in his throwing arm. To me, that suggests off season conditioning problems.

While those factors, may cause some alarm, it should also be noted that even if Morrow never improves, never puts it together, never becomes the recipient of good luck, this deal will still end up being team friendly in economic terms.

Comments (18)

  1. I’ll take it. Janssen 2/8Mil + option


    Good deal especially with that team option.

  3. solid deal. not much else to be said, really. agree with the move.

  4. how many arb years does this cover?

    • I think it is the rest of em plus a year of free agency.

    • It’s either his last 2 years of Arb + 1 year of FA at $21 MM or the Jays can have him for last 2 Arb yrs + 2 yrs FA for $30 MM.

      • That makes a snazzy deal even snazzier. Well played AA

      • Should help control costs going forward nicely. Basically just has to end up being a 1.5 rWAR pitcher approximately for the first 3 years to justify the cost which is what he is now. No real downside here imo and tons of upside.

  5. shi davidi is a fuck faced, lazy eyed douche.

  6. I like this a lot.

  7. A well-controlled diabetic has the same chances as a non-diabetic to get injured.. However, you are right that his injury history is concerning. Still a fan of Morrow though, he always gives you that hope that he will go out and dominate. Good sign

  8. I think that it’s interesting that the Jays only went for 3+1 here. They only bought out 1 (possibly 2) year of free agency at the cost of about the same he would have gotten from the two arbitration years and free agency if he doesn’t improve. It’s a good deal, but it didn’t change the situation much.

    I wonder if this suggests they think he is what he is and they’re only interested in locking him up as a mid-rotation stop-gap until other prospects are ready?

  9. Morrow and Romero have the chance to be as good a 1-2 combo as there is in this league. Love this move. Can’t wait for Morrow to put up some beastly numbers and forever shut up the morons who think trading Brandon League for him was a bad move.

    • I disagree. I think they have a chance to be as good of a 2-3 combo as there is in this league. They will never be Halladay/Lee, Sabathia/Penada, etc.

      So it goes for the Jays system. Loaded with mid-rotation starters. There doesn’t seem to be an Ace at any level right now.

  10. There are new diabetes pumps that continually monitor and adjust output based on actual blood sugar levels. Quite interesting. Diabetes isn’t going to be what it used to.

    As I understand it, the bulk of the complications are due to inconsistent blood sugar levels.

    • Can a pro athlete use those pumps? What would happen if it got hit by a comebacker?

      • Morrow has tweeted recently that he has been on the pump for several years now, but doesn’t use it during games. He does, however, check his blood sugar levels between innings.

        In essence, so long as he’s managing the diabetes properly, there is zero reason to believe diabetes has any effect on his baseball talents.

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