Monday, October 24, 2011

Phillies decline 2012 options for Oswalt, Lidge

The Phillies offseason is officially under way with this news: the team has decided to not pick up their 2012 options on pitchers Roy Oswalt or Brad Lidge and both are now free agents.  Both players were bought out and neither move is a surprise.

Oswalt, who was bought out for 2 million, would have made 16 million dollars in 2012 if the Phillies picked up his option.  Lidge, who was bought out for 1.5 million, would have made 12.5 million.  Neither player is worth that much money but the Phillies are expected to at least negotiate with each player and they could bring one or both back at a lower salary.

If I had to guess, I would say we have definitely seen the last of Brad Lidge with the Phillies.  While he would be nice to have at the right price, there will be a team in the league that offers him way too much to be a set-up reliever in their bullpen.  Let someone else take the risk.

Roy Oswalt is more likely to return to the Phillies but it would pretty much be up to him.  Is he comfortable starting again in a new situation or would he rather finish his career in Philadelphia?  Should he leave, Vance Worley steps into the 4th starter role and the Phillies would have to search for a 5th starter if they want an upgrade over Kyle Kendrick.  At the right price, Oswalt is a significant upgrade over Kendrick so hopefully the Phils make him a serious offer.

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