Charlie Morton has agreed to terms of a two-year contract worth $30 million with the Tampa Bay Rays. It was rumored at the 2018 Winter Meetings that after meeting with a group of teams, Morton’s decision would come out soon. Jon Morosi and Jeff Passan broke the news of the deal.
Free agent starter Charlie Morton and the Tampa Bay Rays have agreed to a two-year, $30 million deal, sources told Yahoo Sports.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) December 12, 2018
During his 2018 campaign with the Astros, Morton featured an outstanding 15-3 record with an ERA of 3.13, WHIP of 1.16, all while striking out 201 over 167 innings pitched. Most notably, Morton capped off a solid 2017 season by helping the Astros win a World Series by carrying a 1.74 ERA over 10.1 innings in the 2017 World Series.
This signing strikes me as effective and logical since the Rays are big on employing the “opener strategy” I think Morton will fit very well in this system. Morton could fill that middle role where they would put a starter in the opener strategy format. Even if they choose to let him straight out start like AL Cy Young Winner Blake Snell, Morton will still be able to produce with a good defense behind him like the Rays have. It doesnt seem that the Rays want to unload on a pitcher with a large salary or spend big money on someone like Corbin who already signed, I think Morton was a very good grab for the Rays who are still exploring this opener strategy.