The Philadelphia Phillies declined options for the 2012 season on pitchers Roy Oswalt and Brad Lidge, each of whom was scheduled to make $16 million next year.
This shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone, as that is just too much money to pay for a fourth starter and a relief pitcher who is no longer a closer.
The Phillies may still intend to buy out Lidge’s deal and then offer the 35-year old a new contract altogether, but the team will also likely go after a closer like Heath Bell (or simply re-sign Ryan Madson). With Antonio Bastardo, Michael Stutes, and Jose Contreras as solid bullpen options, Lidge likely will not be back unless the Phillies can get him cheap.
Oswalt is as good as gone, since the Phillies are committed financially to four starting pitchers already (Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels, and Joe Blanton), and Vance Worley will likely be the fifth starter.