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Agent: Roy Oswalt “is definitely not retiring”

Sep 23, 2011, 10:47 AM EDT

oswalt wide getty Getty Images

Roy Oswalt has talked about an early retirement in the past, but yesterday agent Bob Garber told Todd Zolecki of that the 34-year-old right-hander is no longer thinking about calling it quits:

There’s been a rebirth. There’s been talk in the past about retiring, but that’s not even in the cards at this point. It’s a different Roy. It’s a different feeling for him right now. He’s enjoying the game right now like he used to when he was younger. He’s definitely not retiring.

This has arguably been the worst season of Oswalt’s career, as he’s thrown just 133 innings after logging at least 180 every year since 2004 and has a 3.86 ERA that’s his second-highest. On the other hand, Zolecki notes that Oswalt “is feeling healthy after an ailing back sidelined him” and “has been rejuvenated pitching for the first-place Phillies.”

He’ll be Philadelphia’s fourth starter during the playoffs, which means his role may be minimal, and Zolecki expects the Phillies to decline their $16 million option on Oswalt for 2012. Since coming to the Phillies in the middle of last season Oswalt has thrown 216 innings with a 3.05 ERA and 162/53 K/BB ratio, so when the back isn’t barking he’s still a top-of-the-rotation starter.

Jimmy Rollins and Ryan Madson are also impending free agents, so Oswalt’s desire to remain in Philadelphia may be tested if he’s looking for a big payday.

  1. Chris Fiorentino - Sep 23, 2011 at 10:58 AM

    Rollins is priority #1. Oswalt is a very “nice-to-have” but not at the expense of Rollins. Madson is a Bor-ass client, so I don’t expect him to sign with the Phillies as he will probably want 3 years and $33 million which he isn’t worth to the Phillies.

    Also, after the parade, it will be time to open the checkbook for Hamels as well.

    • somekat - Sep 23, 2011 at 11:25 AM

      Rollins is falling fast at the plate, it is no cooncidence that the team went on a hot streak, putting up 5-6 runs when he was out, and as soon as he came back, they are putting up 0-1-2 runs a game. The man is not, and never has been, even a decent (let alone good) lead off hitter, and that was in his prime. Now that’s he’s fallen off, he is a 7-8 hole hitter that refuses to hit back there. Let him walk if he expects any more.

      Madson will be back, with a similar deal to what Lidge has now

      Hamels will not get that big of a raise. He already makes 16 million this year, so it’s not like he’s making chump change. a 3-4 million raise is all he will get. Easily off set by the loss of Ibanez, and Lidge’s contracts, not to mention Oswalt (if he is back), will have to take a nice pay cut to remain in Philly (especially with Worley stepping up this year, and the Phils on the hook for Blanton next year again). Plus the Phils are FINALLY done paying Adam Eaton and Jamie Moyer after this season.

      They will be able to sign all 3 if they want them, I just hope they don’t pay any more to Rollins than he is already making. I’d give him a 2 year extension at his current salary, if he doesn’t want that, I would let him test the market. You can’t give a guy on this obvious of a decline, at his age, a long term deal

      • somekat - Sep 23, 2011 at 12:13 PM

        Correction, Hamels makes much less than I thought this year. But whatever raise he needs will still be more than made up for by Ibanez being replaced by Brown/Mayberry (which would also make the OF much better defensively)

    • careyb44 - Sep 23, 2011 at 1:38 PM

      Why would they wait until the parade in Atlanta is over?
      They should get crackin on locking Hamels up as soon as possible.

      • somekat - Sep 23, 2011 at 2:23 PM

        Gonna be funny when the Phils own atlanta AGAIN, and the Cards steal their spot. I guess that is what happens when you are one of the worst teams in the league in September, ala the braves

      • Utley's Hair - Sep 23, 2011 at 8:05 PM

        “Why would they wait until the parade in Atlanta is over?
        They should get crackin on locking Hamels up as soon as possible.”

        Parade in Atlanta? Speaking of crack, put down the pipe and walk away slowly…

  2. goldnd - Sep 23, 2011 at 11:16 AM

    Rollins, priority #1? I’d rather see Freddy come up from triple A then see Rollins back popping out every at bat.

    • drmonkeyarmy - Sep 23, 2011 at 11:33 AM

      I think you and many Phillies fans are underestimating just how good Jimmy Rollins still is. Going from Rollins to Galvis is a monumental downgrade. Galvis, by all accounts, had his best season in the minors and still posted an OPS of .716….678 at AAA. Also, he committed an astounding 19 errors.

      • somekat - Sep 23, 2011 at 11:43 AM

        I think you are overestimating how good Jimmy Rollins still is. This is not the MVP season Rollins, or even the WS season Rollins. This is current day Rollins. He is a a .260 hitter that hardly ever walks (.333 obp), and is rarely on base when the heart of the order comes up. He’s great with the glove, but defensive specialist SS’s cost 4-5 mil a year, not 9.

        Is he a better option than what they have now? Of course he is, but that does not mean he should get a long term deal, and it does not mean there is not a better option that will be out there in FA (I don’t think there will be, which is why I’d give him 2 more years). He is not a guy I want starting for me 3 years from now (I’m sceptical of want him starting in ’13), and he is not a guy I am going to pay over 9 million for him.

      • somekat - Sep 23, 2011 at 11:45 AM

        Also, that Galvis OPS of .716 was a whole .007 less than Rollins (and like you said, he is not a ML player right now)

      • drmonkeyarmy - Sep 23, 2011 at 11:46 AM

        How is a better realistic option at SS that is on the open market? I can’t think of one.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Sep 23, 2011 at 11:47 AM

        Yeah, bud at Reading and Lehigh Valley. Big difference between minor league OPS and major league OPS.

      • somekat - Sep 23, 2011 at 12:04 PM

        Cant think of one either, which is why I would offer him a 2 year, 18 million contract (same as he is making now). Everything I’ve heard/read says he wants a substantial raise (somewhere around 14-15 million), and he wants a 5 year deal. He is not worth either. Just because he is the best option for the upcoming season, doesn’t mean that you should overpay him for the next 5.

        With that logic, they should pay Oswalt whatever he wants too, because there isn’t a better option for a #4 starter out there for next season. But they won’t, because he just isn’t worth that much money anymore. Same applies to Rollins.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Sep 23, 2011 at 12:09 PM

        Oh no, I agree that 5 years 70 million is ridiculous. I didn’t mean to give off the impression that I think that is a good idea. 3 years 30 million I would do however. I actually don’t think we are in disagreement about this, just slightly different takes on his current value to the club.

    • somekat - Sep 23, 2011 at 12:09 PM

      I realize that you see easier pitching in the minors, that’s why it is the minors. I also realize he is a young player getting better, while Rollins is an old player getting worse. Also, he would not be in the leadoff spot (which Rollins shouldn’t be either, but won’t go back in the lineup), so he would be a 7-8 hole hitter, which I could live with (most likely a 8, with Ruiz sliding up to 7) putting up those numbers.

      It would be a dropoff (again, I’d keep him a 2 more years, current salary), but it would save plenty of money to use elsewhere to upgrade the offense (LF specifically). This team is just a much better lineup with Victorino-Palonco-Utley-Howard-Pence than they are with Rollins-Victorino-Utley-Howard-Pence. Polanco is a prototypical #2 hitter, and Rollins is a terrible #1 hitter.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Sep 23, 2011 at 12:11 PM

        I understand that. To be honest, I would be more concerned about the defensive drop off than anything else. About LF, I think Mayberry Jr. has earned himself a legit shot at the position. I wouldn’t want the Phillies to spend big for another corner outfielder.

      • somekat - Sep 23, 2011 at 12:20 PM

        I like Mayberry, and would have no problem with him as the full time LF, but I would want Brown to get some time out there too, I am not ready to give up on him. Also, if that is the case, it gives them a lot of money to play with at other positions. If they are pocketing that money, and have it to spend somewhere else………Jose Reyes anyone? (I know it won’t happen, but a guy can dream)

      • drmonkeyarmy - Sep 23, 2011 at 12:23 PM

        I haven’t given up on Brown either. He wasn’t terrible when he was with the Phillies like some suggest. I think he will develop into a really good hitter. The question in my mind is whether he can play a competent LF.

      • somekat - Sep 23, 2011 at 12:33 PM

        I’d think he’d be ok. You would have to give him the spring to adjust, but he is a young kid that plays corner outfield. It would take some time getting used to balls coming out at different angles and such, but that is what spring training is for.

      • bleedgreen - Sep 23, 2011 at 2:21 PM

        Reyes wouldn’t be a bad option actually, if you can pay the right price. Mostly BECAUSE of his injury issues. Get Galvis up here, because you can “platoon” him because you know Reyes will rake when he’s healthy, and Galvis can learn and grow as a player during the DL stints you know Reyes will have.

  3. aceshigh11 - Sep 23, 2011 at 11:27 AM

    Damn, it must be a nice luxury to have a proven badass like Roy Oswalt be your FOURTH starter.

    That low, rumbling sound you hear is the muttering and cursing of EVERY Red Sox fan in America, by the way.

  4. PhillieBirds - Sep 23, 2011 at 11:38 AM

    Rollins has been infuriating at the plate over the last few years. It seems clear that he’s a lot better in his head than his performances show, and I think he believes he is more responsible for the Phils turnaround than anyone. All this being said, I’m still not sure there’s better alternatives for such an important position (defensively, more than anything). As long as he quits being so stubborn and realizes he isn’t a good lead off hitter, I think keeping Jimmy around is important.

  5. trigzter - Sep 23, 2011 at 1:08 PM

    brown just scares me defensively. He never looks like he catches the ball smoothly. Without a doubt Mayberry should start LF next year

  6. xmatt0926x - Sep 23, 2011 at 3:29 PM

    I agree that Rollins may not be the best option going forward. Yes, it will be somewhat of a downgrade offensively to go to Galvis, but if you save $8 million or so a year and that money can be put to a better use then how much of a downgrade is it overall? And after another year of wear and tear on an obviously aging body, will the offensive difference be that overwhelming, if it is all all overwhelming now? I think we as fans have it in our nature to keep expecting a return to prior good form with our athletes when logic dictates that it likely won’t happen. How long do Utley and Rollins have to hit .250 to .265 and spend a quarter of each season on the DL before we accept that this may be the norm from now on instead of waiting for them to revert to 2007-08 performance? Aging infielders don’t generally get better. If Rollins expects 4 years at whatever price I wouldn’t blame the Phillies for passing. I’m not sure if 3 years would be a good idea. To me both he and Utley are doing exactly what aging players do. The good periods are becoming far less lengthy than the bad to barely mediocre periods. You’ll get a flash of the old player here and there but it’s surrounded by far more lengthy mediocre play.

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