Lidge would take reduced role, short deal

MILWAUKEE -- Free-agent reliever Brad Lidge would be open to both closing or pitching in a setup role and would take a short-term deal, his agent said Wednesday.

While agent Rex Gary would not identify which teams have expressed interest, Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington has indicated a preference for relievers that will not require a long-term commitment, and Lidge would seem to fit that description.

The Philadelphia Phillies declined Lidge’s $12.5 million option for 2012, instead paying him a $1.5 million buyout.

Lidge would come with risk. He pitched just 19 1/3 innings for the Phillies in 2011 due to shoulder and elbow problems. He opted to rehab the injury instead of choosing surgery and pitched effectively in the second half of the season. The one-time closer had a 1.40 ERA in a setup role and was unscored upon in two NLDS appearances.

In four seasons with Philadelphia, Lidge was 3-11 with 100 saves and a 3.73 ERA. He was 1-1 with 12 saves in 12 opportunities and a 1.77 ERA in the postseason.

Lidge was 48 for 48 in save chances, including postseason, in helping the Phillies win the 2008 World Series.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.