Braves Rumors: Charlie Morton's potential return is fully on him
Charlie Morton turns 40 years old next month and has a club option worth $20 million in 2024. While most Braves fans would expect the team in opt in for that amount, there's no guarantee that'll happen for several reasons. First, Morton has been non-committal about his future. If Anthopoulos catches wind that he's uncertain regarding a return to Atlanta, then perhaps cutting bait makes the most sense.
Most importantly, $20 million is a lot for a pitcher who struggled down the stretch. Did father time finally catch up to Morton, a player who has given so much to this organization the last few years? MLB Trade Rumors Anthony Franco suggested that could be the case in their Braves offseason preview:
"Morton carried a 3.29 ERA into the final month but allowed nearly seven earned runs per nine in September. A minor injury to the index finger on his throwing hand ended his season, although he likely could’ve made it back had the Braves gotten to the NLCS...The down finish might make the Braves reluctant to commit a $20MM salary."
Now, Franco also noted that the two sides could renegotiate Morton's contract to a slightly lesser figure with incentives attached. If Morton wants to be back, odds are they will make something work, but this isn't as simple as fans might think.