It doesn’t seem like Olney is hearing anything groundbreaking. He describes the conversations as cursory, which is what every club is doing right now with their team options. Moreover, he notes the Braves haven’t made a decision either way, and the same goes for Charlie Morton.
Essentially, Buster Olney points out the obvious — the Braves are considering Morton’s option. In my estimation, it’s a no-brainer if the veteran wants to come back, but that’s a big if.
Morton owns a 3.42 ERA in 28 starts, and in his last four starts in August, he allowed one run in 24 innings, with 33 strikeouts. Now 39 years old, his stuff is still good enough to contribute. His fastball velocity hasn’t faltered, and his curveball is still one of the nastiest pitches in all of baseball.
The reason Olney’s report seems trivial to me is because I doubt very seriously that Charlie Morton has even made up his mind. First, the Braves have to figure out if he wants to play and then make the call to pick up his $20 million option. The first hasn’t happened because he’s focused on the task at hand.
“I went into this year thinking that I wanted to go home,’” Morton said. “That was my mentality, but I can’t have that mentality right now. I’m trying to win a World Series. I don’t want to think about either retiring or keeping going. Frankly, it’s kind of exhausting to think about next year in any shape or form. My attitude is that I’m going to carry the good parts of my year into the offseason. Then it’s up to me.”
Some Braves fans seem to believe the club overpaid for him, but I’m telling you that you’re wrong. He’s been rock solid this season and the rotation would be a mess without him. It’s frankly not even a question of whether AA will exercise that option. The question is if Charlie Morton wants to keep going, which will more than likely be decided after the season.
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