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Morton expects Rays contract to be his last

@_dadler
March 12, 2019

Charlie Morton is entering his first year with the Rays with the intention of finishing his career in Tampa Bay. Morton told MLB.com's Jon Paul Morosi that the free-agent contract he signed with the Rays in December -- a two-year, $30 million deal with a vesting option for 2021 --

Charlie Morton is entering his first year with the Rays with the intention of finishing his career in Tampa Bay.

Morton told MLB.com's Jon Paul Morosi that the free-agent contract he signed with the Rays in December -- a two-year, $30 million deal with a vesting option for 2021 -- will be his last as a Major Leaguer.

"I'm fully expecting that. Yes. One hundred percent," Morton said.

The 35-year-old right-hander had a career resurgence with the Astros over the last two years, staying mostly healthy and pitching the best baseball of his 11 big league seasons. After helping the Astros win their first World Series in 2017, including closing out Game 7 in relief, Morton went 15-3 with a career-best 3.13 ERA and 201 strikeouts in 30 starts last season.

That was enough to convince him to pursue one last deal in free agency. He got it with the Rays, which comes with the added bonus of letting him pitch close to home in Florida.

"I was worried about how I was holding up physically, really. And I feel good," Morton said. "I was throwing well last year, and that's why, going into this offseason, I was like, 'Well, yeah, I'm gonna play. I'm gonna keep playing.' I didn't want to retire. But this will be it."

David Adler is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @_dadler.