LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — The Chicago Cubs finalized a $21 million, two-year contract with right-hander Brandon Morrow after the reliever played a key role in their loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NL Championship Series and also completed a $10 million two-year deal with injured left-hander Drew Smyly.
The 33-year-old Morrow went 6-0 with a 2.06 ERA and two saves in 45 appearances for Los Angeles last season. The hard-throwing right-hander did not allow a home run in 43 2/3 innings.
Morrow could step into the closer job for Chicago. Wade Davis had a career-high 32 saves for the Cubs and made the NL All-Star team this year, then became a free agent.
Morrow pitched in 14 playoff games in the Dodgers’ run to the World Series this year, but he was particularly good against the Cubs. He struck out seven while pitching 4 2/3 innings of one-hit ball in the NLCS, helping Los Angeles advance in five games.
He gets salaries of $9 million in each of the next two seasons under the deal announced Tuesday, and the Cubs have a $12 million option for 2020 with a $3 million buyout. The option would become guaranteed if he has 50 or more games pitched in 2019 or 100 or more in 2018-19 combined, plus he must not finish the 2019 season with an injury that would impact him from pitching at the start of the 2020 season.
The 28-year-old Smyly is recovering from Tommy John surgery in June and might not be able to return next season. He is 31-27 with a 3.74 ERA in 156 major league games, including 85 starts. He was selected by Detroit in the second round of the 2010 amateur draft and debuted with the Tigers in 2012.
He gets salaries of $3 million next year and $7 million in 2019, when he could earn $4 million in performance bonuses for starts, $2 million for innings, $1 million for relief appearances and $600,000 for days on the active major league roster.
Smyly would get $200,000 apiece for 10 and 12 starts; $350,000 each for 14 and 16; $400,000 for 18; and $500,000 apiece for 20 and each additional two through 28. He also would get $100,000 each for 75 and 85 innings, $150,000 apiece for 95 and 105; $200,000 each for 115 and 125; $250,000 apiece for 135 and 145; and $300,000 each for 155 and 165.
He also would get $50,000 each for 20 and 25 relief appearances; $100,000 apiece for 30 and 35; $150,000 each for 40 and 45; and $200,000 apiece for 50 and 55. He would get $100,000 each for 15 and 30 days on the active roster; and $200,000 apiece for 45 and 60.
Smyly would receive a $300,000 assignment bonus if traded, payable by the receiving team.