Rays sign pitcher Michael Wacha to $3 million, 1-year deal

Sports
Michael Wacha

FILE – New York Mets starting pitcher Michael Wacha winds up during the first inning of the team’s baseball game against the Baltimore Orioles in New York, in this Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2020, file photo. The American League champion Tampa Bay Rays signed right-hander Michael Wacha to a $3 million, one-year contract on Friday, Dec. 18, 2020, to fill a void in the rotation with the departure of Charlie Morton. The 29-year old Wacha has a 60-43 record with a 4.01 ERA over eight seasons. After seven years with the St. Louis Cardinals, he went went 1-4 with a 6.62 ERA with the New York Mets in 2020. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens, File)

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — The American League champion Tampa Bay Rays signed right-hander Michael Wacha to a $3 million, one-year contract on Friday to fill a void in the rotation with the departure of Charlie Morton.

The 29-year old Wacha has a 60-43 record with a 4.01 ERA over eight seasons. After seven years with the St. Louis Cardinals, he went went 1-4 with a 6.62 ERA with the New York Mets in 2020.

Wacha is 4-2 with a 3.34 ERA in six career postseason starts, five coming as a rookie in 2013 when the Cardinals won the National League pennant. He was a National League All-Star in 2015.

Morton signed a a $15 million, one-year contract with the Atlanta Braves last month after Tampa Bay declined his $15 million option. The 37-year-old joined the Rays in 2019 and helped Tampa Bay reach the playoffs the past two seasons. The right-hander was 3-1 with a 2.70 ERA during this year’s postseason.

The signing also comes one day after the Rays announced that right-hander Brent Honeywell had arthroscopic elbow surgery that is not expected to affect his 2021 season.

Wacha was drafted 19th overall by St. Louis out of Texas A&M with one of two compensatory picks the Cardinals received from losing Albert Pujols as a free agent to the Los Angeles Angels.

NOTES: The Rays have agreed to terms with RHP Chris Ellis on a minor league contract with an invitation to major league spring training.

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