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Friday March 5th, 2021 2:47PM

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

By The Associated Press

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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More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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