PHILADELPHIA -- The Philadelphia Phillies picked up their
option for next season on left-hander Rheal Cormier on Tuesday, but
will not exercise their options on right-handed relievers Jose Mesa and Mike Williams.
Also, catcher Kelly Stinnett declined his side of a mutual
option for 2004 and is eligible for free agency.
Cormier was Philadelphia's most reliable reliever last season,
going 8-0 with a 1.70 ERA and one save in 65 games.
Mesa is the Phillies' career saves leader with 111 from 2001-03,
but struggled most of last season, going 5-7 with a 6.52 ERA and 24
saves. He lost his closer's role twice during the season and was
often booed by fans.
He rarely pitched in September, costing him a guaranteed $5.5
million contract if he finished 55 games.
Acquired from the Pirates in July, Williams had a combined 1-7
record with a 6.14 ERA and 28 saves. He was selected to represent
Pittsburgh at the 2003 All-Star Game but slumped with the Phillies.
Stinnett, acquired from Cincinnati on Aug. 31, received a
$250,00 buyout. He had three hits in only seven games with Phillies
and has a .236 career batting average with 54 homers and 197 RBI in 10 seasons.