Blue Jays release left-hander Morales

Blue Jays release left-hander Morales

TORONTO -- The short-lived Franklin Morales era in Toronto has officially come to an end after the Blue Jays announced on Tuesday that he was released from his contract.

The move hardly came as a surprise after Morales was designated for assignment on Aug. 1. Toronto had the option of exploring a possible trade, but there appeared to be very little interest.

Morales signed a $2 million contract with the Blue Jays late in Spring Training, but he made only five appearances. He experienced a drop in velocity and was on the disabled list from the first week of April until the middle of July with what the club described as shoulder fatigue.

"I'm mostly just disappointed for him because of how hard he's worked, what he has accomplished over his career and how frustrating it must be for him to give 100-percent effort and not get the same results coming out of his arm," Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins said when Morales was DFA'd.

"It wasn't a lack of effort by our medical staff, our scouting department and certainly him in trying to find every resource available that could help our team. I was really impressed with what he was able to do and certainly disappointed it didn't work out because he could have complemented us well."

During his final outing against the Orioles, Morales' fastball topped out at 87 mph after he averaged close to 94 mph at the same time last year while in Kansas City, according to Brooks Baseball. In the end, Toronto decided it could not wait any longer for Morales to regain his previous form.

Morales is a 10-year veteran who has a 4.56 ERA in 305 games, with all but 47 of those appearances coming out of the bullpen. He'll likely look to continue his career elsewhere on a Minor League deal or instead wait until next spring for another opportunity.

Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.