The Atlanta Braves have signed Charlie Morton, taking the star pitcher off of the free agency market. Morton is signing a one-year contract worth $15 million, according to reporter Mark Feinsand.
This is the second significant addition to the Braves pitching staff. A week ago they signed Drew Smyly to a one-year deal worth $10 million. Morton and Smyly join a rotation that already included Ian Anderson, Max Fried, Josh Tomlin, and Kyle Wright.
Morton just turned 37 and is coming off one of his worst years in the big leagues. Morton made nine starts in the shortened season and finished with a 4.74 ERA and 1.39 WHIP and 0.2 WAR. It was his worst performance since a -0.7 WAR season in 2015. It is worth noting he had a solid playoff run prior to getting thumped by the Dodgers in the World Series. In his first three starts he threw 15 2⁄3 innings and gave up only one earned run. He struggled in the World Series, giving up five runs on seven hits in 4 1⁄3 innings.
This marks a reunion of sorts for Morton. The Braves originally drafted him, using a third round pick in the 2002 draft. He made his major league debut in 2008 and was then traded to the Pirates in June of 2009 as part of a deal for outfielder Nate McLouth. He spent seven seasons with the Pirates before they traded him to the Phillies. He spent the 2016 season in Philadelphia and then signed a two-year deal with the Astros. He followed that by signing a two-year deal with the Tampa Bay Rays before returning to Atlanta.