The Cardinals did their first round of cleaning up their 40-man roster on Monday, giving former closer Trevor Rosenthal his unconditional release.

Rosenthal is expected to miss almost all of next season after undergoing Tommy John surgery.

By releasing him, the Cardinals avoid having to offer him a contract through arbitration, where they would not be allowed to cut his salary by more than 20 percent even though he is injured. Rosenthal earned $6.4 million this season.

The Cardinals are still eligible to re-sign Rosenthal at a future date but releasing him now also clears up a spot on the team’s 40-man roster.

In other moves Monday, the Cardinals made a qualifying offer to free agent pitcher Lance Lynn of $17.4 million. He is expected to reject that offer.

The team also outrighted infielder Alex Mejia and catcher Albert Rosario. Mejia was assigned to Triple A Memphis while Rosario is eligible to become a minor-league free agent. The moves opened two additional spots on the 40-man roster. That roster has to be set by Nov. 20.

There are currently 35 players on the Cardinals’ 40-man roster.

Tuesday is the first day that teams can begin negotiations with free agents.