The Atlanta Braves have been the busiest team on the free-agent market so far this offseason, and they continued with that trend by inking veteran right-handed starter Charlie Morton to a one-year, $15 million deal on Tuesday.
Morton returns to the team that drafted him and that he made his Major League debut with eleven years after they traded him to the Pittsburgh Pirates as part of a deal for Nate McClouth.
The veteran righty, who was a staple of the Tampa Bay Rays’ rotation for the past two seasons, had his $15 million club option for 2021 turned down earlier this offseason and became a free agent.
After re-inventing himself over the past four seasons with Tampa Bay and Houston, Morton has become one of the better right-handed starters in all of baseball.
He posted a 4.74 ERA in 2020’s shortened campaign, but has posted ERA’s under 3.70 in three of the past four seasons while winning a total of 47 games.
Morton is set to jump into Atlanta’s rotation as a quality, stabilizing veteran presence in a pitching staff that’s full of young talents. 2019 All-Star Mike Soroka and 2020 standout Max Fried are set to slide in alongside Morton and fellow free-agent addition Drew Smyly next season, along with rookie phenom Ian Anderson.
Expect Morton to be a key part of the Braves’ pursuit of a fourth consecutive NL East title in 2021.