The Cardinals have released right-handed reliever Ryan Franklin, according to Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. The Cardinals considered "creative" alternatives such as putting Franklin on the disabled list and designating him for assignment.
The 12-year veteran posted an 8.46 ERA with 5.5 K/9 and 2.3 BB/9 in 27 2/3 innings this year. The results were much better in 2010, when Franklin posted a 3.46 ERA with 5.8 K/9 and 1.4 BB/9 to go along with 27 saves. Franklin's average fastball velocity (91 mph) stayed strong this year, though his ground ball rate (37.9%) dropped. He earns $3.25MM in 2011 and the Cardinals will be responsible for all of that less a pro-rated portion of the MLB minimum salary if their former closer signs with a different club.