However, Tuesday’s news from St. Petersburg helped the Yankees in their quest to fight the AL East title away from the Rays. It was then that right-hander Charlie Morton signed Florida for Atlanta and a one-year, $ 15 million contract with the Braves. It was the amount of club option the Rays turned down to Morton, 37, who was 18-8 with a 3.33 ERA in 42 starts in two seasons for them. The Rays wanted to keep Morton, but the Braves’ offer was about $ 5 million more than the Rays wanted to spend.
And it could get worse for the Rays, who are open to listening to trade offers for left-hander stallion Blake Snell, who turns 28 on December 4 and has a very manageable, three-year, $ 39 million contract. remaining. Snell is 42-30 with a 3.24 ERA in 108 starts in his five years with the Rays. Snell was 4-2 with a 3.24 ERA in 11 starts last season and 2-2 with a 3.03 ERA in six playoff games.
Much like the Rays and Pirates deal in 2016, the Rays are looking for the same type of murder they committed by trading Chris Archer for Tyler Glasnow, Austin Meadows, and Shane Baz. The Rays are also not opposed to trading with the Red Sox, Yankees and Blue Jays.
So while the Yankees haven’t made a trade or signed a free agent, they’ve narrowed the gap on the Rays, which could narrow if Snell splits. Of course, that gap would go away if the outgoing Snell landed in the Bronx, where he teamed up with Gerrit Cole to form a formidable one-two punch at the top of the rotation.
Any trade talk between the Yankees and Rays would likely have to start with starters Deivi Garcia and / or Clarke Schmidt and could include first baseman Luke Voit, whose value is high after leading the majors with 22 home runs during the 60-game season. While Clint Frazier is seen in some circles as potentially the Yankees’ regular left fielder in 2021, the 26-year-old fits the Rays profile: young, strong and not yet making a lot of money.
Of course, the Yankees understand that they cannot enter the 2021 season with Cole and Jordan Montgomery followed in the rotation by possibly Domingo German, Garcia and Schmidt.
Free agent Masahiro Tanaka remains on the line for a return to the only team he pitched for in the big leagues and for a spot behind Cole in the rotation.