Former Blue Jays pitcher Brandon Morrow signs with Padres


The San Diego Padres seem to have a knack for plucking pitchers on the mend and hoping for a rebound at pitcher-friendly Petco Park. And for the second consecutive winter, the Friars chose a former member of the Toronto Blue Jays starting rotation as their reclamation project for the spring, inking former Blue Jays’ right-hander Brandon Morrow to a 1-year deal on Tuesday morning per Corey Brock of

Morrow becomes the second Blue Jays pitcher in as many years to join the Padres staff after a down year, with the team also taking a chance on Josh Johnson last spring. Of course, the Padres are hoping to have a little more luck this time around, after Johnson went down during the spring with a strained flexor muscle in his right forearm and later required Tommy John surgery in April, having not thrown a single pitch for the Padres. The deal with the Padres is obviously going to be hedged by San Diego, and as reported by Corey Brock, is incentive laden.

Morrow had a career year in 2012, posting a 2.96 ERA against a FIP of 3.65 with a 10-7 record and a 7.8 K/9 ratio. However, Morrow missed almost two months that season and made just 23 appearances (16 starts) over the next two seasons before hitting the free agent market. When he was on the mound, he was horrible, posting a combined 3-6 record, a 5.65 ERA, a 4.78 FIP, and a ERA+ of 72.

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For that reason, the Blue Jays decided not to exercise their team option on Morrow, instead choosing to pay the $1 million buy-out instead. Toronto did discuss possibly bringing Brandon Morrow back, but only in a bullpen capacity as they worried his arm injuries could be better controlled in a relief role.

However, Morrow wanted the opportunity to start and there was word that multiple teams were willing to give him the opportunity to do so. Pitching in San Diego gives him that opportunity, and likely the most ideal of situations as well. The extreme nature of hitting at Petco will benefit Morrow on a one-year deal and will help him re-establish his value.

The deal also gives the Padres some incentive to use Morrow as a reliever if his arm does not hold up, having bonuses tied into relief appearances as well. While this isn’t ideal for Morrow, it does give the team and the pitcher some flexibility in how to use him.

That all said, I still would have loved to have seen Brandon Morrow live up to his potential as a Blue Jays starter, or even what he was capable of in the bullpen, but this is obviously the fresh start that he needed to get himself back in order. We here at Jays Journal wish him the best of luck.