The Royals have released Juan Cruz and designated Luis Mendoza for assignment, reports Bob Dutton of The Kansas City Star. The moves shake up the team's bullpen and open up roster spots for Brad Thompson and Bruce Chen.
The 31-year-old Cruz has not lived up to expectations since signing a two year, $6MM contract last offseason, posting a 5.50 ERA with a 7.3 K/9 in 55.2 innings for the team. Kansas City still owes him the rest of his $3.25MM salary for this season, plus the $500K buyout for his 2011 option.
Mendoza, 26, was acquired from the Rangers for cash considerations earlier this month. He had allowed 14 baserunners and ten runs in four innings this season. Both Thompson and Chen were signed to minor league deals this offseason and were pitching reasonably well for the Royals' Triple-A affiliate.