Tampa Bay Rays decline 2021 choices on Charlie Morton, Mike Zunino

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — The Tampa Bay Rays are declining 2021 choices on pitcher Charlie Morton and catcher Mike Zunino, however the American League champions say they continue to be hopeful of re-signing them.

Morton, who turns 37 subsequent month, was as a consequence of earn $15 million. Zunino’s possibility was for $4.5 million.

Each performed key roles within the Rays reaching the World Sequence, the place Tampa Bay misplaced to the Los Angeles Dodgers in six video games.

Normal supervisor Erik Neander had till Sunday to resolve whether or not to train the choices. He spoke with each gamers Thursday evening.

“With each of them, the door is staying open. We’ll proceed speaking,” Neander mentioned Friday.

“Charlie’s been very open in regards to the uncertainty in his future and the place he is at,” Neander added. “Frankly, I felt it was greatest to let him catch his breath, let him course of, let him make some selections along with his household and have these conversations to offer us somewhat extra time. I’d love nothing greater than to have Charlie again as a part of our membership subsequent yr.”

Neander mentioned he additionally had an excellent dialog with Zunino, who began 18 of 20 postseason video games, together with the ultimate 10.

“The intangible advantages of him … and the work he did behind the plate have been an enormous purpose for our success as properly,” Neander mentioned.

Morton joined the Rays in 2019 on two-year, $30 million contract and helped them earn playoff berths every of the previous two seasons. The suitable-hander was 3-1 with a 2.70 ERA this postseason, with the loss coming in Sport 3 of the World Sequence. He was 2-2 with a 4.74 ERA throughout the season and earned a $5,555,556 prorated wage from an initially scheduled $15 million.

The 29-year-old Zunino was obtained in a commerce from Seattle in November 2018. He batted .170 with 4 homers and eight RBIs in 19 postseason video games this yr.

Zunino batted .147 with 4 homers and 10 RBIs throughout the season and earned $1,666,667 in prorated pay from a wage that had been $4.5 million.

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