Left-handed pitcher Adam Morgan has opted out of his minor league contract with the Astros, reports Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle. Once he exercised that opt out, the club had 24 hours to either select him to the big league roster or release him, with the club option for the latter choice. He is now a free agent.
Morgan, 32, was drafted by the Phillies and spent parts of six seasons with the big league team, from 2015 to 2020. He was primarily a starter for the first two campaigns but a reliever for the remainder. The move to the bullpen improved his results, as his his 2015-2016 seasons yielded a 5.37 ERA, 16.8% strikeout rate and 5.4% walk rate, whereas in the four subsequent campaigns, his walk rate jumped to 9%, but his ERA was 4.11, along with a 25.4% strikeout rate.
He spent last year with the Cubs, throwing 25 1/3 innings, with his walk rate climbing to 11.1%, his ERA ticking up to 4.26 and his strikeouts dropping to 25.9%. He signed a minor league deal with the Astros in the offseason, seeming like a decent bet to crack the club’s roster as left-handed relief is one of their few weak spots. Blake Taylor and rookie Parker Mushinski are the only southpaws in the Houston bullpen, but they are evidently satisfied enough with those options to let Morgan get away.
Through 8 2/3 innings in Triple-A so far this year, he has a 3.12 ERA with 10 strikeouts and just a single walk. He will now return to the open market and look for his next opportunity.