The Cardinals have released reliever Trevor Rosenthal, reports Jennifer Langosch of MLB.com. Rosenthal, entering what would have been his final season under contract in St. Louis, is expected to miss all of 2018 after undergoing Tommy John surgery this fall.
Rosenthal, 27, was enjoying a bounce-back season in 2017 before hitting the disabled list in late-August. Across 47.2 innings, Rosenthal compiled 76 Ks and a 3.40 ERA, a significant improvement from his 4.46 ERA in 2016. The six-year veteran began the season pitching in a setup role but took over as closer in July after Seung-Hwan Oh continued to struggled.
Throughout Rosenthal's six seasons in St. Louis, he's been phenomenal. Maintaining a career ERA of 2.99, the right-hander has averaged 67.0 innings per year with a dominant 12.0 K/9. A former 21st-round pick of the Cardinals in 2009, Rosenthal was selected to his first All-Star appearance in 2015.
Interest in Rosenthal should be high this winter, for his track record and talent make him a solid risk/reward option for teams looking to compete in 2019 and beyond. With Rosenthal out, the Cardinals' search for a lockdown reliever should be a top priority as the club heads into the winter meetings.