Braves boost rotation, sign Morton for a year at $15 million

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FILE - Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Charlie Morton sits in the dugout after pitching against the Baltimore Orioles in a spring training baseball game Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2020, in Sarasota, Fla. The Atlanta Braves have added another veteran arm to their rotation by signing two-time All-Star Charlie Morton to a $15 million, one-year deal. The signing comes after left-hander Drew Smyly signed an $11 million, one-year deal with the Braves on Nov. 16. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

ATLANTA – The Atlanta Braves were looking for more than just experience and depth when they signed two-time All-Star Charlie Morton to a $15 million, one-year deal Tuesday.

As was the case when the Braves recently signed another veteran for the rotation, Drew Smyly, general manager Alex Anthopoulos sought a power arm to help push Atlanta to the World Series.

“It’s swing and miss stuff,” Anthopoulos said. “There’s a theme there with both Charlie and with Drew. Power swing-and-miss stuff, in the postseason it certainly plays.”

Morton, a 37-year-old right-hander, is returning to the Braves after helping Tampa Bay reach the World Series this season.

The Rays declined his $15 million option and the Braves gave him what he would have earned.

The Braves relied on their young starting pitchers to move within one game of the World Series this year, falling to the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 7 of the NL Championship Series.

Braves left-hander Max Fried finished fifth in the NL Cy Young Award voting. Rookie sensation Ian Anderson and Kyle Wright also boosted the rotation after Atlanta lost ace Mike Soroka with a torn Achilles tendon.

The Braves are counting on Soroka's return in 2021, but the injury was a reminder of the need for depth.