Phillies Decline Option On J.C. Romero

The Phillies declined their $4.5MM option on lefty reliever J.C. Romero, tweets Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer.  He'll receive a $250K buyout instead.

Romero, 34, posted a 3.38 ERA, 6.8 K/9, and 7.1 BB/9 over 53.3 innings spanning the 2009-10 seasons after tossing 59 innings in '08.  He had flexor tendon elbow surgery in October of '09 and also had a 50 game suspension that year for using a banned supplement. 

The Phillies signed Romero to a three-year, $12MM deal in November of '07, even though he's always demonstrated big control problems.  Romero, who says he's got "a brand new arm," joins Scott Downs, Pedro Feliciano, Arthur Rhodes, and others on the lefty relief free agent market.