When a team wins a franchise record 102 games and still manages to choke horribly in the playoffs, you know change is coming. And Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. has already gone on record as saying changes could happen.
And now it’s begun.
The Phillies have officially announced that the 2012 contract options for Roy Oswalt and Brad Lidge have been declined, making them eligible for unrestricted free agency.
“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,” Amaro said via press release. “Brad and Roy both made significant contributions to the Phillies over the past several seasons.”
In buying out the contracts, the Phillies will owe Oswalt $2 million and Lidge $1.5 million respectively. That’s much less than the $16 million Oswalt was due and the $12.5 million Lidge was owed. It’s possible that the Phillies could negotiate new, lower money deals with one or both, though that’s highly unlikely at this point. Maybe Oswalt will decide to give it one more shot and will take a massive paycut to stay with a true World Series contender. But again, unlikely.
It will be very interesting to see if the money saved will be offered to pending free agents Ryan Madson and Jimmy Rollins or if even more massive changes are coming.