I normally don't care for Jon Greenberg's work too much, but I really enjoyed this: https://theathletic.com/221674/2018/01/ ... -the-cubs/
Theo Epstein is a lot like you. Well, he’s smarter, wealthier, more successful and he spends a lot more time with Eddie Vedder than you do, but you and Epstein do have something in common.
After talking a bit (with quotes from Theo) about the slow offseason and how they're experiencing it, they started talking about the moves that were made and I thought this was interesting. Morrow is definitely the closer, in part because the rigidity of the role makes it easier to keep him healthy, and they were similarly intentional about Davis.
And yes, the Cubs are done looking for a closer. Cishek and Carl Edwards Jr. are the backups at that spot, if necessary.
“When we signed [Morrow], we told him, in our minds, he was our closer unless somehow, we were able to bring back Wade Davis,” Epstein said. “It’s the best role for him.”
Like Davis last year, the Cubs plan on using Morrow exclusively in the ninth inning or later. (Davis entered with two outs in the eighth one time in the regular season, on Sept. 15.) If you're the kind of person who argues about old-school baseball vs. new-school analytics, Epstein explains how tradition wins out in how the Cubs still relate to closers.
“With Wade going exclusively in the ninth, that structure allowed him to stay healthy and thrive,” Epstein said. “That should serve Morrow well also. This is one of the areas where optimal analytical usage butts against reality. The best way to play someone like Morrow is matching up against different parts of the order in different innings. That’s where you can get the greatest impact from a shutdown guy. But in reality, using him the way we used Davis should allow him to thrive over what we expect is a seven-month season. I’ll take suboptimal usage on a nightly basis for a better chance to stay healthy over the course of seven months.”