Phillies decline 2012 options on Roy Oswalt and Brad Lidge

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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.

Royals sign Drew Storen to minor league deal

Drew Storen
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The Royals are in agreement with right-handed reliever Drew Storen on a minor league deal, the team announced Friday. Per Jon Heyman of MLB Network, the deal is worth $1.25 million if the veteran righty breaks camp with the club this spring. Additional, albeit unspecified incentives will be included in the contract as well.

Storen, 31, is coming off of a protracted absence from any MLB duties. After inking a one-year deal with the Reds in 2017, he sustained a right elbow sprain toward the end of the year and underwent Tommy John surgery that October. He was effectively decommissioned for the club’s entire 2018 run and generated little interest around the league this winter, perhaps due in part to the uninspired 4.45 ERA, 3.8 BB/9, 7.9 SO/9, and career-low -0.2 fWAR he posted across 54 2/3 innings during his last healthy season.

While it’s not immediately clear what kind of performance the Royals can expect from Storen in spring training, they’re not exactly in a position to be choosy. Their bullpen ranked dead last among all MLB teams with a collective 5.04 ERA, 4.85 FIP, and -2.2 fWAR last year, and still appears to be in a state of flux as they approach Opening Day. Skipper Ned Yost told reporters Wednesday that he intends to eschew the traditional closer appointment in 2019 and will instead utilize a combination of right-handers Wily Peralta and Brad Boxberger, lefty Tim Hill, and various others as he tackles high-leverage situations in the future.