The Los Angeles Dodgers are going to have to reinforce their rotation at the 2021 MLB Trade Deadline.
Why not go with by far the most available “been there, done that” playoff ace on the market? Just scrub all past images of his playoff success from your mind, and you should be fine.
Once upon a time, Charlie Morton was just a journeyman, his career nearly expired before he found his curveball and the corners of the plate at the same time in Houston in 2017.
Unlike some pitchers who’ve left Houston recently, he’s maintained his success in both Tampa and Atlanta after departing.
We were surer the Braves would be all-out sellers 24 hours ago before they dealt their No. 12 prospect for Joc Pederson (?), but it still seems likely Atlanta will pull off some type of hybrid.
If they continue to tread water, Morton could be the ideal solution to the Dodgers’ suddenly-barren rotation, and according to the rumors, they’re monitoring the situation.
Dodgers Rumors: LA pursuing Charlie Morton trade?
After leaving Houston for a free-agent bargain deal with the Rays as a 34-year-old after 2018, Morton continued his resurgence, posting a 16-6 record, 3.05 ERA, a league-leading HR/9 rate, and a third-place Cy Young finish in 2019. In the shortened 2020, we saw more of the same (only less of it), as the veteran led his Rays past his old team in a seven-game ALCS classic.
This year, he’s 8-3 with a 3.64 ERA, 114 Ks in 99.0 innings pitched, and a 122 ERA+. Someone get him on a plane before Atlanta decides to contend.
Though you may not have noticed in the midst of the Braves’ bizarre snoozer of a season, Morton has been the same pitcher he’s always been since his 2017 breakout — solid numbers, but with the potential to completely take over a game for six or seven innings on any given night.
What would a Dodgers trade for Charlie Morton cost?
Perusing the team’s top 10 prospects, most of them would likely be out of bounds for a pure rental. Diego Cartaya? No, the Dodgers have high hopes there. Ryan Pepiot? Odds are higher he’ll be alongside Morton in LA’s stretch run rotation than traded to the deep south. Perhaps Jacob Amaya (No. 10) and starter/reliever Andre Jackson, recently showcased in the Futures Game, would be a fair package?
Keep your eye on Atlanta’s progress over the next few weeks. Even a .500 stretch won’t cut it, and Morton could wind up a high-profile solution to the Dodgers’ unexpected issues.