The deadline for the Braves to decide whether or not to exercise the options of Eddie Rosario, Brad Hand, Charlie Morton, Colin McHugh, and Kirby Yates is today.
The club has already declined Hand’s $7 million option, but they are picking up the $20 million option on Charlie Morton, according to Jeff Passan of ESPN.
Atlanta is exercising its $20 million option on right-hander Charlie Morton, sources tell ESPN. There was significant discussion within the organization about declining it, but ultimately the Braves decided to bring back Morton, who is beloved in Atlanta, for another season.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) November 6, 2023
Of course, we haven’t heard anything on Morton’s end about whether or not he even plans to play another season, but it seems right now that is the case.
At 39-years-old, Morton had another really solid season for the Braves, going 14-12 with a 3.64 ERA while striking out 10.1 batters per nine innings. He’s no spring chicken, but Father Time has yet to catch up to him. Morton’s fastball is still sitting in the high-90s that he pairs with arguably the most deadly breaking ball in the sport.
Given all the questions surrounding the Braves rotation, bringing Morton back seems like a wise decision. His veteran presence adds some stability behind Spencer Strider and Max Fried, especially after it was announced that Kyle Wright will miss the entire 2024 season after undergoing shoulder surgery.
This decision eases some of those concerns, but I would still expect the Braves to be active in free agency in search of another starting pitcher. Injuries have plagued their rotation in each of the last two postseasons, they need at least one more reliable arm, even with Charlie Morton returning.
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