The St. Louis Cardinals did not offer contracts to Alex Reyes and Ben DeLuzio on Friday, allowing both to hit the free agent market.
Once named the best pitching prospect in baseball, Reyes never quite matched the hype in the big leagues. The 28-year-old right-hander has been devastated by injuries over the course of his career, costing him all of 2022 and several other stints since his debut in 2016.
Despite the long list of injuries, Reyes appeared to turn the corner and tap into his long-awaited potential in 2021. In his only full season with the Cardinals, Reyes served as a key cog in the bullpen, saving 29 games while posting a 10-8 record and a 3.24 ERA. Reyes began the season in historic fashion by setting a major league record for the most consecutive saves to begin a career with 24. His dominant first half earned him a trip to the All-Star Game at Coors Field.
The second half of 2021 was not nearly as promising for Reyes as he posted a 5.52 ERA over 31 innings and was soon replaced as the Cardinal closer. The last pitch Reyes threw while wearing a Cardinals uniform was on a 2-1 count in the ninth inning to the Dodgers' Chris Taylor in a tied NL Wild Card game. Taylor sent the the offering into the stands for a walk-off homer and sent Reyes and the Cardinals home.
Reyes elected to have shoulder surgery to address ongoing discomfort last spring. He is still rehabbing and is expected to be game-ready next May.
DeLuzio, a St. Louis native, made his MLB debut in 2022, serving mostly as a defensive replacement or pinch runner.
The Cardinals' 40-man roster now sits at 37 players.