Jays, Mariners to swap League, Morrow

Jays, Mariners to swap League, Morrow

TORONTO -- The Blue Jays are on the verge of adding another talented arm to their pitching staff. MLB.com has confirmed that Toronto has reached a tentative agreement with Seattle on a trade that would send Brandon Morrow to the Jays in exchange for Brandon League and a prospect.

The deal will likely be officially announced on Wednesday. League flew to Seattle on Tuesday to undergo a physical and Morrow was headed to the Jays' complex in Florida to do the same. Minor League outfielder Johermyn Chavez, 20, is believed to be the second player headed to the Mariners.

After spending much of the past six years in the Blue Jays' bullpen, the move caught League by surprise.

"You never see things like this coming, for me, anyway," League told MLB.com. "I'm staying positive. It's a good organization I'm going to. The only downside is that I'll be missing the guys I kind of grew up with through the Minor Leagues."

Morrow, 25, has spent the majority of his three years with the Mariners as a reliever, but it is likely that the Blue Jays would insert the right-hander into their thin rotation. Toronto traded ace Roy Halladay to the Phillies last week, leaving a gaping hole in its starting five.

Currently, the top two arms on the Blue Jays' staff include righty Shaun Marcum and left-hander Ricky Romero. Marcum missed all of the 2009 season after requiring Tommy John surgery after the '08 campaign, and Romero only has one big league season under his belt.

Behind Marcum and Romero, the Jays' long list of rotation candidates includes Brett Cecil, Marc Rzepczynski, Kyle Drabek, Scott Richmond, David Purcey, Brad Mills and Robert Ray, among others. Toronto is not sure what to expect from Dustin McGowan (right shoulder), and Jesse Litsch (right elbow) is likely out of the picture until at least July.

Last year, Morrow went 2-4 with a 4.39 ERA in 69 2/3 innings for the Mariners and 5-3 with a 3.60 ERA over 10 starts with Triple-A Tacoma. Morrow has gone 8-12 with a 3.96 ERA in 197 2/3 innings for his career with Seattle. In 15 career starts, he has gone 4-3 with a 4.42 ERA.

The 26-year-old League has spent his entire big league career in the Jays' bullpen. Last year, the hard-throwing right-hander set a career high with 67 appearances and 76 strikeouts over 74 2/3 innings. Over his career with Toronto, League went 7-10 with a 4.09 ERA over 202 1/3 innings.

Chavez, who will turn 21 on Jan. 26, hit .282 with 21 home runs and 89 RBIs with Low Class A Lansing in the Blue Jays' system last year. He earned an R. Howard Webster Award at the end of the season, honoring him as the Player of the Year with Toronto's Lansing affiliate.

Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.