Brian Snitker excited about Braves’ extensions for Charlie Morton, Travis d’Arnaud

Braves manager Brian Snitker was elated to learn that Charlie Morton will be part of his rotation in 2022. Morton signed a one-year, $20 million extension with a team option for 2023 on Monday.

Morton was the second veteran to extend with the Braves in three weeks, joining catcher Travis d’Arnaud, who signed for another two years in August.

“I think it’s great,” Snitker said. “Two quality guys, too. This is a place, in talking to players, it’s a very attractive situation here from the ballpark to the city to the team and organization. The history here, there’s a lot to like and be part of. I think it’s great we were able to bring back Travis and Charlie.”

D’Arnaud has hit .241/328/.519 with three doubles and four homers over 15 games since returning from an 86-game absence because of a torn thumb ligament. The Braves missed him over that stretch, using an assortment of catchers while trying to replace the 2020 Silver Slugger.

In re-signing d’Arnaud, the Braves also can be patient with young backstops Shea Langeliers and William Contreras, who are considered the organization’s future at the position. D’Arnaud, for his on-field production and leadership, has been an instrumental part of the past two Braves teams.

Morton, meanwhile, has a 3.47 ERA across 28 starts, though his performance has been even better lately. The right-hander has a 2.86 ERA over his past 11 starts. His velocity has increased from the past two seasons, an encouraging (and rare) development for a pitcher who turns 38 in November.

“Everybody is really excited,” Snitker said. “Just what Charlie brings. He’s done everything we envisioned he would when we signed him in the offseason. Just how he goes about it, what he’s doing, how he’s throwing the ball. What he brings to everybody involved in this clubhouse and organization. It’s like a boost ahead already going into the offseason that you have him and Travis.

Braves notes:

- Lefty Grant Dayton (shoulder inflammation) began a rehab assignment with the Florida Complex League on Tuesday, the Braves announced. Dayton pitched in 13 games this season, posting a 6.23 ERA in 13 innings.

Dayton has appeared in 45 games over the past three seasons for the Braves. He’s arbitration-eligible for the third time this winter.

- First baseman Freddie Freeman scored twice Sunday. He leads the National League with 101 runs scored. Freeman is trying to become the first first baseman to lead the league in runs over consecutive seasons since Albert Pujols achieved such with the Cardinals from 2009-10.

- The Braves hadn’t announced a starter for Wednesday’s game before Tuesday’s series opener against Washington. “We’ll know something later on this afternoon,” Snitker said during his pre-game Zoom conference. Drew Smyly, who was shifted to the bullpen last weekend, would be a logical candidate if the Braves are again expanding their rotation. Right-hander Kyle Wright also is on turn to pitch at Triple-A Gwinnett on Wednesday.

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