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Phillies reportedly outright 2 relievers


The Phillies have kicked off their all-important 2020-2021 offseason by addressing the bullpen.

Adam Morgan had a 5.54 ERA in 2020. (Ian D’Andrea)

They have outrighted LHP Adam Morgan and RHP Heath Hembree, according to Meghan Montemurro of The Athletic. The two pitchers are officially off the 40-man roster. Since both players have over three years of service time, they can choose to reject their minor-league assignments and elect free agency, which is likely to happen. Both pitchers spent time on the IL in 2020.

Morgan, 30, underwent left elbow flexor tendon repair surgery on Oct. 8. He is expected to be out six to nine months. 2021 was Morgan’s third year of arbitration eligibility.

The former third-round pick in 2011 has struggled with injuries and consistency throughout his career. He had a good stretch in 2020, posting a 2.70 ERA in 11 appearances from Aug. 14 through Sept. 22. A few poor outings in 2020 soured his stat line. He ended up finishing the season with a 5.54 ERA in 13 innings pitched.

Overall, Morgan will go down as one of the more productive homegrown relievers for the franchise in the current competitive window, which is more of a testament to how much the Phillies have struggled to develop pitching. He presumably finishes his Phillies career eighth on the franchise’s all-time list in relief appearances by a left-handed pitcher (163).

Hembree, 31, was acquired in the trade that brought Brandon Workman to the Phillies and sent Nick Pivetta and Connor Seabold to the Boston Red Sox. The move could go down as one of the worst trades in Phillies history.

Solid outings from Hembree and Workman were few and far between. In 9 1/3 innings pitched with the Phillies, Hembree gave up seven home runs and 13 earned runs, good for a 12.54 ERA. Of the 60 batted balls he surrendered in all of 2020, 12 of them were on the barrel.

He was shut down for the rest of the season on September 21 with a right elbow strain. If the Phillies made the playoffs, he was expected to miss the first round. The Phillies could have retained him for one-year at a price slightly above the $1.61 million he made in 2020, his second year of arbitration.

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