Report: Rays, Morton agree to 2-year, $30M deal
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The Tampa Bay Rays have agreed to a two-year, $30-million contract with free-agent right-hander Charlie Morton, sources told Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports.

Morton's deal also includes a third option year in 2021 with a value that will fluctuate between $1 million and $15 million depending on his health over the life of the contract, Passan reports.

The contract is a significant financial commitment for the small-market Rays, who fielded the lowest payroll in baseball (approximately $68.8 million) in 2018, per Spotrac.

Morton has pitched in the majors for 11 years, but he took a step forward with the Houston Astros over the last two seasons. The 35-year-old was an important part of Houston's World Series-winning team in 2017 before being named an All-Star for the first time in 2018 while posting a 3.13 ERA and striking out 10.8 batters per nine innings.

If the deal becomes official, Morton will join a Rays team that won 90 games in 2018, although that total was only good for third place in the competitive AL East. Morton would also be a solid veteran presence in the Rays' rotation behind reigning AL Cy Young winner Blake Snell.

The Rays are expected to continue utilizing the "opener" strategy for the final two spots in their 2019 rotation behind Snell, Morton, and Tyler Glasnow.

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Report: Rays, Morton agree to 2-year, $30M deal
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