It was not that long ago that Charlie Morton seemed likely to retire. He had said that he was on his last contract when he signed with the Rays ahead of the 2019 season, a statement that made sense considering that he had a young family back home. While he ended up signing with the Atlanta Braves during the 2020-21 offseason, that proximity to home likely made a difference.
Now it seems as though retirement may still be a couple of years away. Morton has agreed to another one year extension worth $20 million with the Braves, with the deal also including a team option for another $20 million for 2024.
Atlanta Braves continuing partnership with Charlie Morton
This contract continues what has been a miraculous second career for Morton. He had been a back of the rotation arm prior to signing with the Astros, a pitcher who showed flashes of potential but typically posted middling results. That changed when he went to Houston, where he immediately became an All Star caliber arm and a key part of their World Series winning rotation.
He has continued to be a solid pitcher since, racking up strikeouts, innings, and treks to the postseason. That has continued in what may be considered a down season, although he has posted a respectable 4.29 ERA and a 1.205 WHiP over his 167.2 innings, striking out 200 batters with 62 walks.
At some point, the party is going to end with Morton. He will be 39 years old through the entirety of next year, a time when most pitchers have either hung up the spikes or are close to calling it a career. The spin rate may not be as high, the movement may not be as crisp. But at this point, even coming off of what is a down year, he is still a valuable veteran arm in Atlanta.
Retirement is going to wait at least one more year for Charlie Morton. He has signed an extension with the Atlanta Braves for the 2023 season.