With the offense falling apart for the Tampa Bay Rays and the Yankees potentially adding Gerrit Cole, could this mean the end of Charlie Morton’s time in St. Pete?
The Tampa Bay Rays face stiff competition in the AL-East. The Yankees and Red Sox have a combined payroll that more than doubles the Rays gross revenue. While the Rays have a great pitching staff, the Yankees and Sox can hit with the best of them.
The Yankees had the number one offense in all of baseball last year.
The Red Sox had the fourth-best offense in baseball last year.
The Rays have secured Mike Zunino and Hunter Renfroe, both of whom hit about .200. We have great pitching with Morton, Snell, Glasnow, and company, but that won’t be enough to hang with the Yankees this year.
The Yankees will have the best offense in the Major Leagues with probably the best rotation as well.
Forget about it. Mike Zunino and Daniel Robertson (as much as we love them) aren’t taking them down. If the Red Sox bounce back from a down year, the Rays may be forced into a situation in which they have to trade Morton.
Morton has a very team-friendly option for 2021 which will reduce his salary if he spends time on the IL in 2020.
If the Rays’ front office senses blood in the water, be prepared for Morton to be sent to a team in contention. Remember, he doesn’t have a no-trade clause. Even with a 58-47 record at the deadline, teams were still inquiring about Morton last year, because they know the Rays are always looking for a deal.
Moving on from Morton makes perfect sense in this scenario. His $15 million this year and $15 million in 2021 are incredible deals if he’s still healthy and dealing. Morton is earning $3 million less than Cole Hamels in 2020, and less than 50% of Stephen Strasburg‘s AAV.
This is a guy who just finished third in Cy Young voting. The 2021 option with injury protection could net quite a haul for GM, Erik Neander.
What do you think? Do you think the Rays will be able to hang with a Yankees club that has Gerrit Cole? Let us know in the comments!