Braves bolster rotation with signing of former pitcher Morton

By Sports Desk November 24, 2020

The Atlanta Braves signed right-handed pitcher and free agent Charlie Morton following his exploits during the Tampa Bay Rays' run to the MLB World Series.

Morton returns to the Braves on a one-year, $15million deal, having been drafted by Atlanta in 2002, while he debuted in 2008 before leaving the following year.

The two-time All-Star played a key role as Tampa Bay reached the World Series for the first time in 12 years in the shortened season amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Tampa Bay turned down a $15m club option as Morton opted to reunite with the Braves, who fell to eventual champions the Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League Championship Series (NLCS).

A World Series winner with the Houston Astros in 2017, Morton tallied 42 strikeouts and an ERA of 4.74 in nine regular-season appearances in 2020.

The 37-year-old stepped up in the playoffs, with 23 strikeouts and a 2.70 ERA in four games, while he had a 3-1 win-loss record.

Morton also became the only pitcher in MLB history with four winner-take-all victories after pitching 5.2 scoreless innings as the Rays prevailed in the American League Championship Series (ALCS).

"We saw him trending back to where he was in 2019," Braves president of baseball operations Alex Anthopoulos said. "In September and into the postseason, his stuff was back to where it was in 2019."

After debuting for the Braves 12 years ago, Morton was traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2009 and he spent seven seasons at the NL franchise.

A brief spell with the Philadelphia Phillies followed before moving to the Astros and then the Rays in 2019.

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