NOV. 9: There are “at least eight to 10 teams” interested in Morton, according to Mark Feinsand of MLB.com. The Rays probably won’t offer him more than $10MM, Feinsand hears.
NOV. 6: Charlie Morton immediately became one of the most talented pitchers available in free agency when the Rays declined his $15MM club option. Unsurprisingly, the 36-year-old (37 next week) is drawing strong interest early on, reports Robert Murray of Fansided.
During his last trip through free agency, Morton prioritized geographic fit when signing with Tampa Bay. That’ll probably be the case again this offseason, with teams located near his Florida home gaining a distinct advantage. To that end, a reunion with the Rays for less than the $15MM option price still seems in play. During the season, Morton alluded to the possibility of retirement as well, but there’ll seemingly be plenty of opportunity for him should he want to continue playing. The MLBTR staff projects Morton for a one-year, $8MM deal this winter with the Mets as a potential landing spot.
Morton didn’t match his Cy Young finalist 2019 performance this past season, pitching to a 4.74 ERA over nine regular season starts. His peripherals were quite strong, though, and Morton still averaged around 94 MPH on his fastball. There’s plenty of reason to believe he’d upgrade basically any rotation around the league.