The Atlanta Braves exercised a $20 million option for pitcher Charlie Morton on Monday, bolstering a shaky rotation for the NL East champions, but they declined a $9 million option for outfielder Eddie Rosario.
The return of Morton, who went 14-12 with a 3.64 ERA, was expected even though he turns 40 on Sunday.
The Braves need starting depth after learning that Kyle Wright — a 21-game winner in 2022 — will miss another whole season because of an injury that kept him out most of this past year.
The decision to cut ties with Rosario, who got most of the starts in left field, was a bit of a surprise after he hit 21 homers with 74 RBIs while batting .255 as part of a potent order that tied the major league record with 307 homers as team.
It could be a signal that the Braves are considering a new position for Vaughn Grissom, who had a big year offensively at Triple-A but doesn’t appear to have a spot available on the infield.
The Braves also declined the options for two right-handed relievers.
Kirby Yates will receive a $1.25 million buyout after the Braves decided not to bring him back for $5.75 million. In addition, Atlanta exercised a $1 million buyout for Collin McHugh rather than a $6 million option.
Reporting by The Associated Press.
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