The Cardinals have transferred the rights of right-hander Zach Petrick to Nippon Professional Baseball's Yokohama DeNA Baystars in exchange for cash considerations.
Petrick, 26, will head to Japan not long after it appeared he had a future with St. Louis. MLB.com's No. 26 prospect in the organization was the Cardinals' Minor League Pitcher of the Year in 2013, and he was invited to big league camp last spring. Petrick went 7-7 with a 4.52 ERA in 28 starts for Triple-A Memphis last season, his fourth since joining the Cards as an undrafted free agent in '12.
Petrick immediately impressed upon making his Minor League debut, going 5-0 with a 2.17 ERA in 13 appearances for Rookie Level Johnson City in 2012. He took another step forward in '13, climbing from Class A Peoria to Double-A Springfield as he went 7-3 with a 1.99 ERA in 34 appearances.
The 6-foot-3 righty out of the University of Northwestern Ohio continued his ascent in 2014, getting an invitation to Major League Spring Training and then spending most of the year with Memphis, where he posted a 7-6 record and 4.62 ERA.
Petrick was once again a non-roster invitee this past spring, pitching 7 1/3 innings over four appearances in the Grapefruit League. He took a step backward in 2015, posting a 1.33 WHIP and allowing 181 hits in 157 1/3 innings.
Adam Berry is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.