With the end of the World Series, baseball tiptoed Thursday morning toward the opening of free agency next week and the start of what the Cardinals hope will be a winter of acquisition.

But first, a few goodbyes.

Lance Lynn was one of four Cardinals declared free agents, by rule, at 8 a.m. St. Louis time Thursday, the morning after the Houston Astros’ coronation as World Series champs. Lynn and relievers Seung Hwan Oh, Juan Nicasio and Zach Duke will be available to all teams after a five-day window when only the Cardinals have exclusive rights to talk financial details with the free agents. The Cardinals, who had those discussions with Nicasio late in the season, do not expect to complete any contracts this weekend, and all four are likely to reach free agency.

The Cardinals plan to present only Lynn a qualifying offer of $17.4 million for 2018, and the righthander plans to reject it. The Cardinals will receive a draft pick as compensation if Lynn signs with another team.

A total of 149 players became free agents Thursday.