Pitcher Morton agrees to 2-year deal with Astros

The Houston Astros have agreed to terms on a two-year contract with free agent right-handed pitcher Charlie Morton, announced Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow on Wednesday.

The signing gives the Astros the top two groundball starting pitchers in Major League Baseball, as left-handed pitcher Dallas Keuchel and Morton rank first and second, respectively, in career groundball to flyball ratio among active Major League pitchers (min. 800IP). Keuchel carries a 2.84 career mark while Morton owns a 2.48 mark.

Morton, 33, has spent all nine years of his career pitching in the National League, where he has posted a 4.54 ERA (450ER/893IP) in 162 games (161 starts) with Atlanta (2008), Pittsburgh (2009-15) and Philadelphia (2016). The 6-foot-5 right-hander has posted a 3.97 ERA (283ER/641.2IP) in 111 starts since his breakout 2011 season with the Pirates, when he won 10 games while posting a 3.83 ERA and logging 171.2 innings across 29 starts.

Morton made four starts with the Phillies last year in April before suffering a torn left hamstring on April 23 that ended his season. He struck out 19 batters in his 17.1 innings and posted two quality starts in his four outings with Philadelphia prior to the injury.

Following the signing of Morton, the Astros now have 38 players on the 40-man roster.