The Tampa Bay Rays are perfectly comfortable putting relief pitchers on the mound to begin games. But the chance to add an All-Star to their patchwork rotation, that was too good to pass up.
Coming off a career-high 30 starts, Charlie Morton reached a $30 million, two-year contract with the Rays, a person familiar with the agreement told The Associated Press on Wednesday.
The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the contract has not been officially announced.
The 35-year-old Morton was a first-time All-Star last season when he went 15-3 with a 3.13 ERA for Houston.
Morton helped the Astros win their first championship in 2017. He started and won Game 7 of the AL Championship Series against the Yankees, then was the winning pitcher in Game 7 of the World Series against the Dodgers with four innings of relief.
Tanner for Tanner
Tanner Roark figured he would be pitching in Washington's star-studded rotation next year.
Instead, he found himself part of the majors' first Tanner-for-Tanner trade, headed to the rebuilding Reds. Cincinnati acquired him for fellow right-hander Tanner Rainey during the winter meetings.
The 32-year-old Roark led the National League in losses last season, going 9-15 with a 4.34 ERA. He is 64-54 in six years, all with Washington. Roark made $6,475,000 last year and is eligible for arbitration. He can be a free agent after next season.
Rainey spent most of the season with Triple-A Louisville, going 7-2 with a 2.65 ERA and three saves in 44 appearances. He didn't have a decision and posted a 24.43 ERA in eight outings for the Reds.
•Free agent outfielder Gorkys Hernandez and the Red Sox reached agreement on a minor league contract. The 31-year-old Hernandez hit 15 home runs last season while batting .234 with 40 RBI in 142 games for San Francisco. In 2017, he didn't hit a homer in 310 at-bats.
•First baseman Justin Bour reportedly reached agreement with the Angels. The 30-year-old Bour hit 20 homers and drove in 59 runs with the Marlins and Phillies last season. He batted .227 combined over 141 games, missing time because of an oblique strain.
•Shortstop Jordy Mercer and the Tigers have agreed to a $5.25 million, one-year contract. The 32-year-old hit .251 with six homers and 39 RBI with the Pirates, down from 14 homers and 58 RBI in 2017.