Rays considering ex-Astro Charlie Morton among starting pitching options

Morton is a free agent after pitching the last two years in Houston.
Charlie Morton throwing in the playoffs for the Astros. [AP}
Charlie Morton throwing in the playoffs for the Astros. [AP}
Published Dec. 7, 2018

Among several options the Rays have explored to sign or trade for a starting pitcher, they’ve expressed interest and had initial conversations with free-agent RHP Charlie Morton.

Morton, 35, was most recently with the Astros, going 14.7, 3.62 in 2017 and 15-3, 3.13 last year.

He seems likely to meet the Rays preference to do only a short term deal, given reports suggesting he planned to pitch only another year or two.

Morton was somewhat of a bargain for the Astros, making $14 million in salary plus around $4 million in incentives for the last two years.

Though the Astros declined to make him a $17.9 million qualifying offer, they are interested in bringing him back, reportedly making a one-year offer with an option.

Mets RHP Noah Syndergaard might be their top target though he is said to not be readily available.