Braves sign Charlie Morton to new contract for 2023 season ahead of pivotal start vs. Mets

Braves sign Charlie Morton to new contract for 2023 season ahead of pivotal start vs. Mets

The Atlanta Braves announced on Friday they have agreed to terms with right-handed starter Charlie Morton on a new contract. Morton will make $20 million next season with the Braves and has a $20 million option for the 2024 campaign. Said option will not include any buyout figure.

It's worth noting Morton's new deal is identical to the one he signed last September with the Braves, right down to the dollar amount and the lack of a buyout on a club option. This contract, then, almost serves as a copy-and-paste job that extends the Braves' control over Morton for an additional season.

Morton, who will celebrate his 39th birthday in November, has posted a 4.29 ERA (96 ERA+) and a 3.23 strikeout-to-walk ratio this season across 30 starts. He's had a rough go as of late, surrendering at least four runs in three of his five September outings. The Braves, nevertheless, seem to believe he's still a high-quality starter.

With Morton in tow, the Braves can count on fielding a rotation next season that includes him, left-hander Max Fried, star rookie Spencer Strider and breakout righty Kyle Wright. Others, such as Bryce Elder and injured former ace Mike Soroka, could work themselves into the equation as well. And that's without accounting for the possibility that the Braves dip their toes into the free-agent or trade markets.

Morton, by the way, is scheduled to make his final start of the regular season on Sunday against the New York Mets. The Braves are coming into their three-game set against the Mets facing a one-game deficit in the National League East. The division winner will finish with the second-best record in the NL, thereby earning a first-round bye. There's a lot riding on Morton's start, in other words.

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