The Astros have designated left-hander Matt Gage for assignment, per Chandler Rome of The Athletic. This move opens up a roster spot for left-hander Josh Hader, whose signing has now been officially announced by the club.
Gage, 31 next month, has been on Houston’s roster just under a year, having been claimed off waivers from the Blue Jays in February of 2023. He spent the year as frequently-optioned bullpen depth, making five appearances in the majors with a 2.70 earned run average. His 34 Triple-A appearances didn’t go as well, as he posted a 4.58 ERA in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League. He struck out 23.4% of batters at that level but also walked 12%.
The southpaw had a better year in 2022, tossing 42 1/3 Triple-A innings while with the Jays, posting a 2.34 ERA for Buffalo. He paired a 27.4% strikeout rate with a 9.5% walk rate and also kept the ball on the ground at a 47% clip. He also made 11 big league appearances for the Jays with a 1.38 ERA.
The Astros will now have a week to trade Gage or try to pass him through waivers. Left-hander relief tends to always be in demand around the league and he still has an option remaining, which will enhance his appeal. His 2023 numbers for Sugar Land weren’t amazing, but clubs will surely take the hitter-friendly setting into account.
For the Astros, their situational lefty group takes a hit with Gage’s departure. Hader will be in the closer’s role for the foreseeable future, with Bennett Sousa and Parker Mushinski as the other southpaw relievers still on the roster.