Finally, we come to the most speculative name on this list in Charlie Morton and there is a lot to unpack here. Based purely on performance, Charlie is a guy the Braves should want to keep around. While he certainly had his fair share of maddening starts in 2023, he still put up a 3.64 ERA in 30 starts and maintained a strikeout rate north of 10 batters per nine innings pitched.
However, these sorts of decisions cannot be made in a vacuum and there is cause for concern when it comes to bringing back Morton next season for his hefty club option of $20 million. First, that is a lot of money for any one player and Charlie is soon to be 40 years old. Second, he ended this season hurt as his injured a finger on his throwing hand right before the playoffs. While that injury could have been a fluke, it also is a reminder that older pitchers carry a lot of risk and that risk doesn't decrease as the years go by.
Could the Braves exercise Charlie's option? Absolutely. The organization truly appreciates his contributions to the team and loves him as a human being. However, the Braves need pitching depth that they can rely on. With Charlie in the twilight of his career and needing to be paid a healthy chunk of money that could go to improving the roster elsewhere, it shouldn't be a sure thing that they bring him back. Frankly, it isn't outside the realm of possibility that Charlie could decide himself that its time to retire which would take the decision out of the Braves' hands.