Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that the Rays and starter Charlie Morton are nearing agreement on a contract. Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reports that the deal is for two years and $30 million in total.
Morton, 35, is coming off of the best season of his career. With the Astros, he went 15-3 with a 3.13 ERA and a 201/64 K/BB ratio in 167 innings. The right-hander set a career-high in strikeout rate (28.9%) as well as average fastball velocity (95.7 MPH). The rub with Morton is that it’s been difficult for him to stay healthy throughout the duration of his 11-year career.
Morton will slot in behind Blake Snell in the starting rotation. The Rays will likely use the “opener” strategy once again in 2019 as well, just likely not with Snell and Morton.