Originally posted on Phillies Nation  |  Last updated 10/30/11

Lots of options were picked up Saturday, and two may slightly impact the Phillies’ offseason plans.

Ryan Dempster predictably exercised his $14 million player option to remain with the Cubs in 2012. It’s not as if the Phillies were eyeing Dempster, but his return to the Cubs means one less front-to-mid rotation starting pitcher will be on the free agent market. The list of available hurlers is not pretty, and the more names crossed off the list, the higher the chances are that another team will overpay for Roy Oswalt.

After C.J. Wilson, there is no truly enticing starting pitcher to realistically be signed. (It’s not as if the Yankees and CC Sabathia will fail to reach a common ground). If Wilson, who struggled in the playoffs, is alone in the top tier of starting pitchers, then Oswalt, Hiroki Kuroda and Edwin Jackson make up the shallow second tier.

Another option exercised over the weekend affected the Phillies more directly…The option picked up over the weekend which affects the Phillies more directly belonged to Jason Giambi. With Ross Gload’s contract up and uncertainty at first base looming, the Phillies could use a lefthanded power bat off the bench who can spot start at first. Giambi fit that mold perfectly, but he chose to pick up his player option worth $1 million rather than test the free agent waters, where he likely would have found a sweeter deal.

As HardballTalk notes, Giambi has made more than $131 million in his career, so it isn’t hard to see why the comforts of playing in Colorado outweighed his making an extra million bucks.

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