The Phillies added a veteran starter on Saturday morning by acquiring Charlie Morton from Pittsburgh in exchange for minor-league pitcher David Whitehead.
Morton, 32, had a 4.81 ERA last season in 23 starts. The righthander walked 41 batters and struck out 96 in 129 innings. He has pitched with Pittsburgh since 2009 and has a career 4.54 ERA.
He is slated to earn $8 million this season. Morton can become a free agent after the season, unless the team opts to pick up his $9.5 million option. Morton’s short-term contract could give the Phillies flexibility to trade him at the deadline, much like they hoped to do last season when they signed Chad Billingsley and Aaron Harang.
Whitehead spent last season at high-A Clearwater, where he had a 4.44 ERA in 25 starts. The 23-year-old was a 34th-round pick by the Phillies in the 2013 draft.