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Pirates sign P Morton to 3-year extension

PITTSBURGH (AP) - The Pittsburgh Pirates and right-handed pitcher Charlie Morton have agreed to a three-year extension.

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The 30-year-old Morton went 7-4 with a 3.26 ERA in 20 starts for the Pirates in 2013. The $21 million deal includes a club option for $9.5 million in 2017.

Morton missed most of 2012 and the beginning of 2013 while recovering from elbow reconstruction surgery. His return bolstered a rotation that propelled the Pirates to 94 wins and the franchise's first playoff appearance in 21 years.

Morton gives the Pirates some needed depth and stability behind Francisco Liriano and Gerrit Cole. The Pirates still hope to sign free agent A.J. Burnett, who is mulling retirement. Left-hander Wandy Rodriguez, who sat out the final four months of the 2013 season due to arm trouble, is also expected to be back.

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