• Morton unsure of playing beyond 2020
  • Morton can still earn $15 million in 2021
  • If he plays well, Morton will be left with difficult decision

At 36-years-old, any athlete would likely ponder on walking away from a sport. But the case of Tampa Bay Rays Pitcher Charlie Morton is a bit different. He is coming off a splendid season with the Rays and was one of the starting pitchers who surrendered home runs at a lower rate. Best of all, he did not spend a single day on the injured list.

So what is holding back the two-time All-Star? Morton will be in the second season of his two-year $30 million deal with Tampa Bay. The Rays do have an option to bring him back for a third season, one that would pay him about another $15 million. With so much money on the table, pundits feel that Morton may be getting ahead of himself, the Tampa Bay Times reported.

Last season, Morton tossed 194 2/3 innings of 3.05 ERA ball with career-bests in K/9 (11.1) and BB/9 (2.6). But even with an impressive showing last MLB season, Morton questions his ability to play on beyond the 2020 season. And his predicament becomes a bit complicated if he churns out another magnificent performance this MLB season.

“If I throw really well and I feel really good, it’s going to be a tough decision,” Morton said.

For the record, this is not the first time that Morton has questioned his future. He did the same back during the 2017-18 MLB season when he was still with the Houston Astros. Seeing that his performance has been picking up, such gave him a reason to play on. That led to him moving to Tampa Bay.

True enough, the ride of Morton has been uncanny. After failing to get an All-Star nod in his first 11 years in the MLB, his fortunes changed. Last year, he finished third in American League Cy Young voting and made the All-Star team for a second consecutive season, USA Today reported. If his play continues, there is a fair chance he could be up there once more.

Morton may want to consider the big money he would be walking away from. Though it is understandable that he wants to rest and spend more time with his family, earning another $15 million may be hard to pass up on. The only hitch is that he needs to spend fewer than 30 days on the injured list in 2020. Seeing how he managed to do that in 2019, there is no reason why he can't do it again.

Tampa Bay Rays The Tampa Bay Rays are playing in their second straight elimination game. Photo: Reuters