Pirates sign Morton to 3-year extension
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — The Pirates stuck with right-hander Charlie Morton through five up-and-down years that included two separate surgeries. With free agency looming in a year, Morton wanted to repay that loyalty.
Morton agreed to a three-year contract extension on Wednesday that guarantees him at least $21 million.
The deal will pay Morton $4 million in 2014, $8 million in 2015 and $8 million 2016. It includes a $9.5 million team option for 2017 with a $1 million buyout.
There are performance clauses that could nudge Morton's salary to $10 million in the option year. If Morton is traded anytime during the length of the contract, the option becomes mutual.
“You try to do a few things during your baseball career, and one of them is take care of your family,” Morton said by phone. “From the get-go, it was about me being in Pittsburgh. That's what I wanted the whole time.”
Morton, 30, was in his final year of arbitration eligibility. The deal buys out at least his first two seasons of free agency.
This past season, Morton went 7-4 with a 3.26 ERA in 20 starts.
“His growth and development has been a big part of our present and we believe our future success,” general manager Neal Huntington said. “It's a great deal for both sides.”
Morton sat out most of the 2012 season and the first two months of the 2013 season while recovering from Tommy John surgery. He also had hip surgery in October 2011.
Missing that time means Morton has less mileage on his arm, but it also carries a risk.
“I don't consider myself out of the woods because every season presents new challenges physically,” Morton said. “But I feel better now than ever. I'm in a really good spot.”
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.