Braves Advance Their Rotation

Photo courtesy of Morganton News Herald

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Last Tuesday, Alex Anthopoulos & the Braves signed former Atlanta Braves & Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Charlie Morton to a 1-year/$15 million contract. The $15 million is the same amount he would’ve made had his option been exercised with the Rays. So basically, he didn’t gain anything monetarily by leaving Tampa for Atlanta, he just chose the Braves over the Rays.

I titled this column “Braves Advanced Their Rotation” instead of ‘Braves Improve Their Rotation’ simply because the signing of Morton advances the Braves closer to their first World Series title since the mid-1990’s.

Since his rookie season in Atlanta, Charlie has compiled 85 wins over 1,365 innings and only surrendering 602 earned runs. He’s a two-time All-Star (2018, 2019), an All-MLB Second Team selection in 2019, & a World Series Champion in 2017.

Charlie’s dangerous curveball is just as vaunted as Braves pitcher Max Fried’s. And we all know how nasty Fried’s hook is. He’s a crafty veteran that adds an element of mentorship that closely resembles what Cole Hamels brought to Fried last season. This signing is a homerun (pun intended).

The Braves 2021 starting rotation now looks like this:

1. Mike Soroka (when he returns)

2. Max Fried

3. Charlie Morton

4. Ian Anderson

5. Drew Smyly (free agent signing)

I’d put that rotation up against any rotation in baseball’s highest level. If last season taught us anything it’s that you can never have too much depth in the rotation. Charlie adds not only a quality arm to the rotation, but an All-Star arm that is just as good, if not better in the postseason as it is during the regular season.

THAT rotation, with THIS lineup means the Braves should have equal or better odds than the defending champion Los Angeles Dodgers to represent the National League in next year’s World Series.

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