As expected, the Phillies have declined their 2012 team options on both Roy Oswalt and Brad Lidge.
Instead of exercising his $16 million option the Phillies will give Oswalt a $2 million buyout and Lidge will get a $1.5 million buyout instead of a $12.5 million option.
In announcing the moves general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said that the Phillies will talk to both pitchers about returning at lesser salaries.
Lidge was limited to just 19 innings because of injuries and his raw stuff has declined significantly, but he still posted a 1.93 ERA and 23 strikeouts (along with 13 walks). Oswalt also missed time with back problems, but was plenty effective when healthy with a 3.69 ERA and 93/33 K/BB ratio in 139 innings.
Lidge may have to settle for a one-year deal and an opportunity to perhaps fight for a closer job, but if Oswalt is committed to playing beyond 2012 he should be able to command a multi-year contract.
The Nationals have acquired left-handed reliever Marc Rzepczynski and cash considerations from the A’s in exchange for minor league infielder Max Schrock.
Schrock is a 21-year-old second baseman who has been pretty darn impressive in A-ball this year, but the Nats can be excused for giving up promise in 2018 or whatever for some bullpen help come playoff time. Rzepczynski walks a few too many guys for my taste but he strikes ’em out at a pretty decent rate for a LOOGY and the Nats could use another southpaw reliever apart from Oliver Perez. This is especially true given how many tough lefty hitters they may face in the playoffs.
On the basic merits, sure, Rzepczynski for Schrock may look pretty dang good for the A’s in a few years. But this October the A’s will be watching on TV from home while the Nats will be trying to win it all, making the trade pretty darn understandable from their point of view.
Meanwhile, in Tulsa, Zach Welz of the visiting Arkansas Travelers made a spectacular catch. It was the catch Torii Hunter tried to make on that famous David Ortiz homer in the playoffs a few years back except Welz made it.
Watch as he topples over the wall to come up with the would-be dinger off the bat of Tulsa Drillers first baseman Cody Bellinger: