The Philadelphia Phillies still have “99 Problems but a Pitch Ain’t One,” but they will have less pitching in 2012. At least, as of right now they will, but the 2011 season isn’t even over yet, so that doesn’t mean much.
The team has declined the options on two pitchers who at various points in their careers were dominant. They declined Roy Oswalt’s $16 million buyout, as well as Brad Lidge’s $12.5 million buyout.
Both moves were expected. $12.5 million is too much for an oft-injured closer who actually is a set up guy, but not really. The 34-year old will get a $1.5 million payment as settlement and then test free agency. He missed most of the season but did post a 1.40 ERA through 19 1/3 innings. Considering the dearth of closers in MLB, I have to believe that someone will give him a shot at their closer role.
As for Oswalt, he’ll get a $2 million buyout. The reality is that he has back problems that just won’t seem to go away, and Vance Worley was the better pitcher over the course of the season. Oh, and Worley costs next to nothing.
Despite Oswalt’s injury issues, however, he still posted a 3.69 ERA. He wasn’t his usual dominating self, but he was still better than a ton of other pitchers in baseball. The Phillies are interested in keeping him, but at a much lower salary.