Cards release Rosenthal, extend qualifying offer to Lynn -

Cards release Rosenthal, extend qualifying offer to Lynn

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ST. LOUIS ( -- Trevor Rosenthal is no longer a member of the Cardinals, as the club granted him his unconditional release Monday.

Rosenthal, who set the single season franchise record for saves in 2015, underwent Tommy John surgery this season and will likely miss most of 2018 as he works his way back. The Cardinals likely did not want the dead money in his salary while he rehabbed and released the former closer to save cash.

READ: 'I didn't really know how bad I was feeling' The pitch that began the end of 2017 for Rosenthal

 The team also extended a qualifying offer to starter Lance Lynn ($17.4 million) Monday. Lynn, 30, is a free agent this year and is expected to reject the offer in favor of hitting the market.

The burly righty amassed a 71-45 record over 161 starts for the team, posting a 3.39 ERA in 946.1 innings pitched (5.8 per start). Signed to a three-year, $22 million deal heading into 2015, Lynn missed all of 2016 with Tommy  John surgery. He returned this season to tie for the National League lead in games started (33) and finished with a 3.43 ERA.

Whichever team signs Lynn will surrender a draft pick to the Cardinals. The team’s highest first round pick is exempt, but any other first rounders or competitive balance picks are in play.

Having a draft pick attached to his signing may suppress Lynn’s market value somewhat, but given the relatively shallow market for starting pitching, he is expected to secure a lucrative deal.

The team also outrighted infielder Alex Mejia and catcher Alberto Rosario off their 40-man roster.

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