Pirates sign RHP Morton to 3-year contract

The Pittsburgh Pirates and right-handed pitcher Charlie Morton

have agreed to a three-year, $21 million contract.

The 30-year-old Morton went 7-4 with a 3.26 ERA in 20 starts for

the Pirates in 2013. The deal includes a 2017 club option for $9.5


Morton missed most of 2012 and the beginning of 2013 while

recovering from elbow reconstruction surgery. His return bolstered

a rotation that propelled the Pirates to 94 wins and the

franchise’s first playoff appearance in 21 years.

Morton gives the Pirates some needed depth and stability behind

Francisco Liriano and Gerrit Cole. The Pirates still hope to sign

free agent A.J. Burnett, who is mulling retirement. Left-hander

Wandy Rodriguez, who sat out the final four months of the 2013

season due to arm trouble, is also expected to be back.