Oswalt On Retirement; Hamels On Future In Philly

Roy Oswalt is still considering retirement after the 2011 season, while his rotation mate Cole Hamels wants to sign an extension to stay in Philadelphia, reports Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOXSports.com.

Oswalt told Morosi last February that "this year [2010] and next year will probably be it."  Oswalt didn't sound quite as definitive on Monday, but said that retirement is still on his mind.

I’ll play this year and see how it goes,” Oswalt said. “I’ll see where my body’s at and pretty much go from there.”

2011 is the last guaranteed year on Oswalt's contract.  The Phils hold a $16MM option on the veteran right-hander for 2012, and Oswalt can choose to opt out of this option himself, though doing so would reduce the $2MM buyout price.  Oswalt turns 34 in August but is still pitching at a high enough level that if he remains in good form through this season, the Phillies probably wouldn't hesitate to exercise that option. 

Oswalt has never played for a World Series winner, so it's possible the Phillies' performance this season will influence his future plans.  If the Phils win the Series, Oswalt could choose to walk away from the game on the high note of his first championship.  If the club falls short, Oswalt could decide to return in 2012 to take one last shot at a title on a Phillies team that is still set up to contend.

Oswalt's retirement would make a long-term extension for Hamels even more of a priority than it probably already is for the Phils.  Hamels is entering the last year of a three-year, $20.5MM pact he signed with Philadelphia before the 2009 season, but the left-hander still has one more year of arbitration eligibility left as a Super Two player.

We heard in January that the Phillies hadn't begun to discuss a multiyear deal with Hamels, but the left-hander told Rosenthal/Morosi that he is very interested in remaining in Philadelphia.

I want to be here as long as I possibly can,” Hamels said. “It’s why Cliff ( Lee) came back. It’s the reason Roy ( Halladay) wanted to be here. It’s a great place to play….I want to be here for the majority of my time of being a baseball player. I’ve never looked at anything else.”


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