In a development likely to shock absolutely no one, the Phillies have opted to decline the $16 million option on pitcher Roy Oswalt's contract, and the $12.5 million option for reliever Brad Lidge. Oswalt's deal features a $2 million buyout; Lidge's, $1.5 million.
Raise your hand if you thought the Phillies were going to pay a combined $28.5 million for a couple guys well on the wrong side of 30 coming off injury-plagued seasons. Yeah.
The Phillies' press release doesn't completely close the door on the two pitchers returning:
The Phillies officially declined the 2012 options for the contracts of right-handed pitchers Brad Lidge and Roy Oswalt, the club announced today.
"While we will not pick up either of their options, we will remain in contact with representatives for both players about the possibility of bringing them back for the 2012 season," said Senior Vice President & General Manager Ruben Amaro Jr. "Brad and Roy both made significant contributions to the Phillies over the past several seasons."
The move may actually benefit Oswalt, who may find a suitor (perhaps even the Phillies) willing to guarantee more money over a two or three years deal). Lidge, on the other hand, is looking at life as a middle reliever, also possibly with the Phillies, but his years as a big money back-of-the-bullpen type are likely kaput.