The Philadelphia Phillies addressed their starting rotation Saturday by acquiring pitcher Charlie Morton in a trade with the Pittsburgh Pirates.

The Phils announced that minor league pitcher David Whitehead was sent to Pittsburgh in exchange for the 32-year-old veteran.

Morton went 9-9 with a 4.81 ERA last season with the Bucs, and he owns a career record of 45-70 to go along with a 4.54 ERA.

The eight-year veteran spent the past seven seasons with the Pirates after playing for the Atlanta Braves in 2008. He posted a sub-4.00 ERA in 2011, 2013 and 2014, with his best season coming in 2013, as he went 7-4 with a 3.26 ERA.

Philadelphia ranked 29th in Major League Baseball with a 4.69 team ERA last season, so it is banking on Morton regaining the form he displayed prior to the 2015 campaign.

As pointed out by Jon Johnson of 94 WIP, Morton also gives the Phillies some ammunition at the trade deadline:

Pittsburgh already has a dominant one-two punch at the top of its rotation with Gerrit Cole and Francisco Liriano. It also recently acquired Jon Niese from the New York Mets in a trade involving second baseman Neil Walker, per ESPN’s Adam Rubin.

Morton is slated to make $8 million in 2016 before a club option kicks in for the 2017 season, according to Spotrac.

Since his production didn’t live up to his salary in 2015, shipping him to Philly certainly makes sense for the Pirates, as it will allow them to pursue a cheaper alternative and perhaps even another bat.

From the Phillies’ perspective, acquiring Morton isn’t a move that will put them over the top, but it could at least add some respectability for a team that is seemingly in for another tough season.


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