Braves, RHP Charlie Morton agree to 1-year, $15 million deal

Liz Roscher
·1 min read

The Atlanta Braves and right-haded pitcher Charlie Morton have come to terms on a one-year, $15 million deal that will send Morton back to the team that originally drafted him in 2002.

Morton, 37, has spent the last two seasons with the Tampa Bay Rays. The Rays had a chance to retain Morton for the 2021 season, but declined his $15 million option. Now Morton is getting the exact same money from the Braves.

Over two seasons with the Rays, Morton had a 3.33 ERA over 42 starts. He wasn’t outstanding in the 2020 season, but teams obviously know what he can do. He was part of the 2017 world champion Houston Astros, but as a pitcher had almost nothing to do with the infamous sign-stealing scheme.

With Morton’s contract, plus the $11 million they committed to starting pitcher Drew Smyly last week, the Braves have now committed $26 million to upgrading their rotation in 2021. That was an area of major concern for the Braves, who have a lot of offense but stumbled with starting pitching in the shortened 2020 season. Of the 14 pitchers who started at least one game for the Braves in 2020, just three of them ended the season with an ERA below 4.00.

The Braves aren’t kidding around. They want to get over that postseason hump, and they’re not wasting any time getting the guys they want.

Oct 23, 2020; Arlington, Texas, USA; Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Charlie Morton (50) throws against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the first inning of game three of the 2020 World Series at Globe Life Field. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
Charlie Morton (50) throws against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the first inning of Game 3 of the 2020 World Series at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas. (Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports)

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