St. Louis Cardinals non-tender former All-Star closer Alex Reyes

The Cardinals non-tendered former All-Star closer Alex Reyes on Friday

The St. Louis Cardinals decided to non-tender 2021 All-Star closer Alex Reyes on Friday, along with OF Ben DeLuzio.

Reyes, 28, was the number 6 prospect in all of baseball back in 2017 but battled a number of injuries that kept him from realizing his full potential as a top of the rotation starter for the Cardinals. During his MLB debut in 2016, Reyes appeared in 12 games, 5 of them starts, throwing 46 innings with a 1.57 ERA and 52 SO. Reyes had the dominant stuff needed to be an ace for a long time.

In 2021, the Cardinals installed Reyes as their closer, and was named an All-Star after he posted a 1.12 ERA in 40.1 innings while not blowing any saves. Reyes fell apart in the second half of the season, finishing with an 5.52 ERA in the 31 innings he pitched after the All-Star Break. He infamously ended the Cardinals season by giving up a walk-off home run to Chris Taylor against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the Wild Card Game.

Reyes was due to make $2.85 million in arbitration in 2023, and with uncertainty around if he could even pitch next season, it was widely expected that the club would part with Reyes before the non-tender deadline. It’s a really disappointing end for such a promising player, and now Cardinal fans can only hope that Reyes is able to get healthy with another organization and realize his true potential.

The Cardinals also non-tendered DeLuzio, who made his MLB debut with St. Louis at age-27 this past season. Appearing in 22 games for the club, he slashed .150/.292/.200 with zero home runs or RBIs. The club signed former outfield prospect Oscar Mercado to a minor league deal today, and he could end up playing a similar role as DeLuzio did last season.

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