Relief pitcher Dan Quisenberry was released Monday by the Kansas City Royals, two years after signing a lifetime contract with the team.
"The bottom line is effectiveness," Royal General Manager John Schuerholz said. "It was purely and simply a baseball decision. His effectiveness was just not what it had been, for whatever reason."
Quisenberry was not available for comment. His lack of playing time and obvious unhappiness had fueled speculation for almost a year that the Royals would either trade or release the right-hander, whose 238 saves rank fourth on baseball's all-time list.
Quisenberry's contract reportedly will pay him $1.2 million through the 1989 season. Total worth of the contract has been estimated as high as $49 million, depending on the value of real estate and commercial holdings in the deal.
Quisenberry, 35, was 0-1 with 1 save and a 3.55 earned-run average this season. He has a career record of 51-43 with a 2.55 ERA.
The Royals also released reliever Gene Garber, 40, who has 218 lifetime saves. His 45 saves in 1983 established a major league record. He was named relief pitcher of the year five times.