Right-Handed Hurler Charlie Morton
What SF Giants need does he fill?
Starting pitching depth
How he Performed in 2020?
Morton is one of the few high-profile pitchers with a chance to hit the open market. In his last trip through free agency after 2018, Morton hinted he might hang up his spikes if he could not find a good deal.
Instead, he signed a two-year, $30 million pact with an option for 2021 with the Rays, but the cost-conscious Rays may be hesitant to pick up the option of a pitcher heading into his age-37 season.
On the heels of this, the former third-round pick remains indecisive about his future beyond 2020.
That said, this was not the type of season Morton wanted as he could potentially become a free agent. He generated a 4.74 ERA (3.45 FP) with a 24.7 percent strikeout rate against a 5.9 percent walk rate in 38 innings. He produced a solid 1.24 groundball/flyball rate, so he did well to prevent hitters from creating loft on their swing.
The right-handed hurler pairs his mid-90’s fastball with a curveball, cutter, and changeup. He gets an exceptional spin rate on the curveball and uses it to put away opposing hitters.
Even as Morton enters the latter stages of his career, the ability to rack up the strikeout totals is a quality that will appeal to teams in free agency. Plus, teams are not going to be too concerned about a less-than-stellar ERA if the underlying numbers remain strong.
What are the Odds the SF Giants Sign him?
On paper, the Giants need pitching, and he fills that need. However, Morton will still command guarantees in free agency. Since Farhan Zaidi has taken over, San Franciso has proven to be very stingy when it comes to free-agent spending.
On that note, Zaidi tends to prefer building up starting pitching depth rather than making one, high-priced move. For example, if the Giants were to sign Morton, would that prevent them from signing a James Paxton-type to fill out the rotation?
I would put the odds of the Giants signing Morton at around 15 percent. With that being said, the Giants do need an anchor like Morton to the rotation, however, I think they would look elsewhere.