The Atlanta Braves have not made many trades with the Rays in the past, but could that change?
The Rays are yet again in the playoff hunt, even after trading some key pieces during the offseason. Could they make a trade with the Atlanta Braves and bring back a familiar face in Charlie Morton?
The Rays currently sit in second place in the American League East and are only 1.5 games behind the Boston Red Sox. According to Fangraphs, they have a 69% chance to make the playoffs, and a 25.3% chance to win their division.
Of their 5 pitchers with the most innings, only 2 of them have an ERA below 3.74, and an xFIP of 3.98. One of those pitchers is Tyler Glansow who is currently injured. Rich Hill is also extremely injury prone. If the Rays want to compete this year, another solid rotation piece would go a long way in not only making the playoffs, but having a solid top 3 rotation for the playoffs.
The Rays are not typically ones to pay the type of contract that Morton currently has, but with only a fraction the season left, and Morton being a free agent after the year, they could afford it if they chose to go this route. The Rays have the top farm system in MLB. They can win any bidding war they want. With a farm system like the one they have, odds are the Braves and Rays could find a deal that works for both of them.
If the Atlanta Braves trade Morton, it would be a sad day because it would be the unofficial waving of the white flag. The Atlanta Braves may still want to make a push. But, if the Braves do decide that they don’t believe they can make the playoffs, Morton makes the most sense to move.