Cardinals release Trevor Rosenthal

David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

The St. Louis Cardinals have granted reliever Trevor Rosenthal his unconditional release, the team announced Monday.

On top of that, the organization has extended a $17.4 million qualifying offer to starting pitcher Lance Lynn. The team also outrighted infielder Alex Mejia and catcher Alberto Rosario off the team’s 40-man major league roster. Mejia will be assigned to Triple-A Memphis while Rosario is eligible to become a minor league free agent.

Rosenthal’s release marks the latest event in the former closer’s fall from grace. The Cardinals’ ninth-inning man in 2014 and 2015, Rosenthal was electric out of the pen during the 2012 and 2013 postseasons, including a 0.00 ERA in 4.2 World Series innings in 2013.

He saved 93 games between 2014 and 2015, but struggled in the 2014 playoffs. Rosenthal was removed as the Cardinals closer in 2016, finishing the season with a 4.46 ERA and 14 saves. He began 2017 as ther team’s set-up man but ultimately ended up needing Tommy John surgery. He finished the year with a 3.40 ERA and 11 saves.

A Cardinal for his entire six-year career, the 27-year-old ends his time in St. Louis with a 2.99 ERA, 121 saves and 435 strikeouts in 325 innings pitched. He was an All-Star in 2015.

Lynn, meanwhile, has been with the Cards since his rookie season in 2011. He’s compiled a 72-47 record, 3.38 ERA and 1.288 WHIP in 977.2 innings pitched. The 30-year-old is likely to decline the qualifying offer given the thin state of this year’s starting pitching market.

With Los Angeles Dodger Yu Darvish and Chicago Cub Jake Arrieta the only headliners in free agency, Lynn stands to make a pretty penny should he test the waters.

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