Weighing fiscal priorities over sentimentality, the Philadelphia Phillies declined to make qualifying offers Monday to two free agent veterans, right-hander Roy Halladay and catcher Carlos Ruiz.
The Phillies decided against giving one-year, $14.1 million tenders to the duo, a decision that will cost the team draft-pick compensation should either player or both sign elsewhere. The club also will decline the $20 million option on Halladay's contract.
Halladay, 36, missed most of the 2013 season due to shoulder surgery, and he was shut down again in September due to a dead arm. He finished 4-5 with a 6.82 ERA in 13 starts, his second consecutive disappointing season.
Prior to going 11-8 with a 4.49 ERA in 2012, Halladay was an All-Star eight of the previous 10 seasons, winning the American League Cy Young Award with the Toronto Blue Jays in 2003 and the National League Cy Young Award with the Phillies in 2010.
Despite Halladay's recent fall-off, Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. has expressed an interest in bringing back the veteran at the right price.
Halladay completed a three-year, $60 million deal he signed with Philadelphia in December 2009.
Ruiz, 34, is one of the top two or three catchers on the free agent market, but Amaro has said bringing him back is one of the team's priorities with the organization lacking a ready replacement.
Ruiz missed the first 25 games last season while suspended for using a banned stimulant, then was sidelined from mid-May to mid-June due to a right hamstring strain. On the year, he hit .268 with a .320 on-base percentage, a .368 slugging percentage, five homers and 37 RBIs in 92 games.
In 2012, Ruiz posted career highs with 16 home runs and 68 RBIs. However, he is valued more for his defense and handling of pitchers, qualities that have the Colorado Rockies interested in Ruiz's services, the Denver Post reported.
An All-Star in 2012, Ruiz was a key cog in the Phillies' run to the 2008 World Series championship and the 2009 NL pennant, hitting a combined 27-for-90 (.300) with three homers and 13 RBIs in the postseason those two years.
Ruiz signed a three-year, $8.85 million contract with the Phillies in January 2010, and the team picked up a $5 million option for the 2013 season.