Cardinals non-tender Alex Reyes

The former top prospect is now a free agent.
Published: Nov. 19, 2022 at 12:01 AM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV) - The journey for Alex Reyes with the St. Louis Cardinals has come to an end.

The Cardinals announced Friday that they have declined to tender a contract to Reyes, who was arbitration-eligible for the third time this coming season. Friday was the deadline for MLB teams to tender contracts to players who are still under team control but do not yet have contracts for the 2023 campaign.

Friday’s news was largely the expectation for how St. Louis would handle the Reyes situation this winter. Despite missing the past season due to injury, Reyes was projected by MLB Trade Rumors to earn $2.85 million in salary for 2023. With Reyes’ future murky as he recovers from shoulder surgery, the Cardinals simply weren’t going to commit the financial resources and the 40-man roster spot to the 28-year-old.

Reyes’ tenure with St. Louis was tumultuous due to a wide variety of injuries over the years. After bursting onto the scene late in the 2016 season, Reyes missed the vast majority of the next three years. He threw just seven big-league innings from 2017 to 2019 before finally catching on in a bullpen role during the COVID-shortened 2020 campaign. Reyes evolved into a lethal closer the next season, earning his first All-Star selection while posting a 3.24 ERA in 72.1 innings in 2021.

Unfortunately, Reyes’ career with the Cardinals concludes with the final bitter image coming in the 2021 NL Wild Card Game, as Dodgers’ utility man Chris Taylor hit the walk-off homer against him to end the Cardinals’ season. Reyes missed the 2022 season as it was announced in May that he would undergo surgery to repair a torn labrum.

Reyes ends his time as a Cardinal with a 2.86 ERA in 145.0 MLB innings. Though he showed immense promise when healthy, those moments were ultimately too few and far between.

The Cardinals also announced Friday that they did not tender a contract to outfielder Ben DeLuzio. The journeyman outfielder served as a defensive specialist and pinch-runner down the stretch for St. Louis this past season.