The last week in MLB was about a team in the National League signing a starting pitcher to a contract. A club in the American League is open to dealing a starting pitcher, and multiple clubs are eyeing a reliever for bullpen depth.
Atlanta Braves Sign Starting Pitcher Charlie Morton to One-Year, $15-Million Contract
The Atlanta Braves have added one of the better starting pitchers available in free agency as they signed Charlie Morton to a one-year, $15-million contract, per a team announcement.
— Atlanta Braves (@Braves) November 24, 2020
The Braves originally drafted Morton in 2002, and he pitched for them for one year in 2008 before they traded him to the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Morton posted a 4.74 ERA in nine starts (38 innings) for the Tampa Bay Rays last season with 42 strikeouts, 10 walks issued, and four home runs yielded.
The right-handed pitcher was better the previous season with the Rays as he compiled a 3.05 ERA in 194 2/3 innings pitched (33 starts) with 240 strikeouts, 57 walks, and 15 home runs surrendered.
Morton has proved he can be a reliable starter in the postseason by compiling a 3.38 ERA in 12 playoff starts.
He played a vital role in the Tampa Bay Rays, having a successful regular season in 2020 and the playoffs.
The Braves have a young starting rotation, and the addition of Morton was a smart move.
He not only provides the Braves with depth in the rotation but is someone the younger pitchers on the staff can lean on for guidance.
Tampa Bay Rays Open to Dealing Starting Pitcher Blake Snell
The Tampa Bay Rays have told teams they are open to trading starting pitcher Blake Snell, per Mark Feinsand of MLB.com.
Snell won the American League Cy Young after a phenomenal 2018 season as he led the AL with 21 wins and a 1.89 ERA.
He also posted a 0.97 WHIP, 2.49 FIP, and 221 strikeouts.
The Rays inked Snell to a five-year, $50-million contract after that impressive 2018 campaign covering his arbitration years but is very backloaded.
He is set to earn $39 million over the final three seasons of the contract.
The remaining amount left for Snell is a bargain for his performance.
However, the Rays typically operate with a low payroll.
Many teams around the league lost money last year as fans could not attend games due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Rays looking to move Snell is logical, given how the team operates.
They would receive plenty in return by trading Snell as he has a reasonable contract with multiple years of control.
Los Angeles Dodgers, Toronto Blue Jays Interested in Reliever Brad Hand
The Los Angeles Dodgers want to strengthen their bullpen and are interested in adding free-agent reliever Brad Hand, according to a source that told Jon Morosi of MLB Network.
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) November 25, 2020
Hand would occupy the same role that Blake Treinen did for the team if the Dodgers do not re-sign Treinen, says Morosi.
Treinen primarily pitched in the seventh or eighth inning for the Dodgers last year.
The Dodgers are not the only team showing interest in Hand as the Toronto Blue Jays have also checked in on him as well, per Morosi.
Source: The #BlueJays, who are among the most active @MLB teams in offseason talks, have checked in on free agent reliever Brad Hand. The Jays have other needs, but a left-handed reliever to join Romano/Dolis at the end of the game is on their wish list. @MLBNetwork
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) November 25, 2020
The Cleveland Indians declined a 2021 option for Hand worth $10 million.
He had a solid 2020 campaign with the Indians as he led the majors with 16 saves.
He also posted a 2.05 ERA in 22 innings pitched (23 games) with 29 strikeouts, four walks issued, 1.37 FIP, 0.77 WHIP, and allowed no home runs.
Hand would be a substantial addition either to the Dodgers or Blue Jays, as he was one of the better relievers in MLB last season.
- Chris is a New Jersey native whose favorite sports team is the Arizona Diamondbacks. He previously attended Western New England College to study Sports Management. Chris has been following the Diamondbacks since he was 12. You can find him on Twitter at @aecanada12.
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