Tampa Bay Rays: Could we have seen the last of Charlie Morton?
By Seth Carter
The Tampa Bay Rays’ division and the rest of the MLB was greatly impacted today. Toronto banned public events until at least July 1, we delve into hypothetical dominoes.
UPDATE: After this article was written, Mayor Tory’s office clarified that the ban does not include sporting events.
Last season, the Tampa Bay Rays paid Charlie Morton $15 million to essentially end his career near his nearby home in Bradenton.
Morton may have been paid $15 million last year but he gave the Rays’ $30 million worth of pitching. He finished third in the AL in Cy Young voting and finished 16-6 with a 3.05 ERA and racked up 240 strikeouts in 194.2 innings pitched.
Morton was a huge part of the reason the Rays were able to overcome injuries to Blake Snell and Tyler Glasnow on their way to a 96-win season that ended in Game 5 of the ALDS against the Astros.
The two-year contract also has a third-year vesting option. The value of the team option will be dependent upon how much time Morton spends on the IL over the course of the contract.
The 2020 season is up in the air right now. Major League Baseball and the MLBPA recently met to discuss the flexibility that may be required from both parties in order to achieve the ultimate goal: play as much baseball as possible.
Then this happened:
Toronto has banned public events through June. That’s through, so nothing until July…as it stands right now.
We were told the novel coronavirus pandemic would get worse before it got better. It’s been getting worse. I’m not bold enough to even attempt to speculate on when it will peak or when we’ll flatten the curve.
More than half of the total confirmed cases in the United States have been diagnosed in just the past five days.
The only thing I can speculate on is whether or not we get a Major League Baseball season. I hope we do. But I can’t help but ask, what if we don’t?
I’m simply posing the hypothetical scenario that the season ends up getting canceled. Then, according to MLB Trade Rumors, Morton’s option is dependent upon how many days he spends on the IL.
The league and the union have agreed that service time will count in 2020, players scheduled for free agency in 2021 will hit the market as scheduled, and 2021 options can be exercised as scheduled. Unless I am missing something (which is entirely possible) it appears the team option on Charlie Morton will be $15 million in 2021, even if we don’t play a single game in 2020.
In that scenario, the question for the Rays will be whether or not they believe a 37-year-old who just missed a whole year of baseball will be worth a significant percentage of their payroll. It’s a fair question, considering the franchise.
Also to be considered, will Morton be interested in returning in 2021? He expressed his desire to end his career after this contract. Like so many things right now, we can only wonder and speculate. It’s about all we have to do, outside of watching classic games, like the one below. Enjoy!
So, immerse yourself in the history of baseball and stay safe and healthy.
For more information about COVID-19, visit the CDC’s website or the website for your state’s Department of Health.