Tampa Bay Rays: Charlie Morton prefers to return to Rays

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 02: (NEW YORK DAILIES OUT) Charlie Morton #50 of the Tampa Bay Rays in action against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium on September 02, 2020 in New York City. The Rays defeated the Yankees 5-2. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 02: (NEW YORK DAILIES OUT) Charlie Morton #50 of the Tampa Bay Rays in action against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium on September 02, 2020 in New York City. The Rays defeated the Yankees 5-2. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /
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If Charlie Morton has his way, his next team will not look that much different from his previous one as he will stay with the Tampa Bay Rays.

It was not a surprise that the Tampa Bay Rays declined Charlie Morton‘s option for the 2021 season. Perhaps more than any other team, the Rays are held to a strict budget, making the lost revenue from this past season all the more important. As reasonable as $15 million may have been, the Rays just could not afford to eat up that much of their budget, even after a run to the World Series.

But that does not mean that Morton’s time in Tampa Bay is at an end. His preference is to return to the Rays, and there is interest from the team in continuing that relationship.

Morton had considered retirement prior to signing with the Rays, but his ability to play close to his family made a difference. Those considerations will be a major factor again this offseason, as his desire to spend as much time as possible with his children is a priority.

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His time in Tampa Bay could be considered a success. He posted a 3.33 ERA and a 1.135 WHiP in his 232.2 innings, striking out 282 batters with just 67 walks. Morton was also a key part of the Rays run to the World Series, allowing just two runs, one earned, on 11 hits and four walks over his 15.2 innings in the ALDS and ALCS.

But there are potential issues. Morton will turn 37 years old in a matter of days, and did not exactly have a stellar 2020 season. While those struggles can be explained by the unique circumstances of the season, it is still worth keeping an eye on moving forward.

As it stands, Morton wants to pitch again. The Rays have designs of returning not only to the postseason, but to the World Series. Retaining an arm like Morton, especially given his typical success in the postseason, could go a long way towards that goal.

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Charlie Morton would prefer to remain with the Tampa Bay Rays. If the two sides can make the finances work, he will get that wish.