Rays add a starting pitcher to their lineup

by Gary Shelton on December 13, 2018 · 2 comments

in general

Thursday, 3 a.m.

A day after they gave up on their new stadium, the Tampa Bay Rays found something new to build upon.

A starting rotation.

The Rays signed 35-year-old right-handed pitcher Charlie Morton to a two-year, $30 million contract. The talk had been that the Rays wanted a big bat, but instead looked to the mound to sign Morton.

A year ago, Morton was 15-3 with a career best 3.13 ERA.

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His signing would indicate the Rays plan for a blend of regular starters and "designated starters" in 2019. Cy Young Award winner Blake Snell and Morton would be the regular starers, with perhaps Tyler Glasgow. The team also has Ryne Stanek, who had 29 starts a year ago, and Ryan Yarborough (who was 16-6) in their outside-the-box designated starter roles.

Morton has won 29 games the last two years, one of the top records in the league along with Corey Kluber (38 wins) Carlos Carrasco (35), Max Schertzer (34), Zack Greinke (32) and Justin Verlander (31).

The Rays were 90-62 a year ago, good for third place (behind the Red Sox and Yankees) in the AL East.

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