Results tagged ‘ payroll ’

Amaro: Nothing Is Off the Table

Ruben Amaro Jr.,Ruben Amaro Jr. talked yesterday about the upcoming offseason, which will be a big one for the Phillies.

Read the full story here.

In short, he said nothing is off the table. It seems the Phillies are finally open to doing anything in the offseason, which means trading Cole Hamels, Chase Utley, Jimmy Rollins and Ryan Howard, if a deal makes sense to them. Of course, they’re going to try hard to trade Howard, although it will be difficult with the $60 million remaining on his contract. But at least the Phillies are not going into the offseason believing they can still win if everybody stays healthy and performs to their capabilities. 2008 is a long time ago. They’re finally accepting that.

Here is some of what Amaro had to say:

Q: Is the organization acknowledging it held on too long to the idea it will win as long as the 2008 core is together?
A: I think we have to look at everything kind of deeply. My feeling is we need to try to get younger. We need to try to put ourselves in a position to be a little bit more athletic, and we have to put ourselves in position to be open minded about some changes at the major league level. Clearly, we’ve gone for it several times and the last couple years it hasn’t worked for us, and so we have to think about and have been thinking about ways to move the organization forward in a different way other than just adding small pieces to try to be a championship club. I think we have to certainly, and we have been, looking for more long term solutions.

Q: Is anything and everything on the table?
A: We’re staying very open minded. I think we have our philosophies about evaluating players and putting the club together, and we are still evaluating those as well. But we are keeping a very, very open mind as far as our player personnel is concerned. And so I guess you could say there’s nothing that’s really off the table.

Q: Do you feel you have one year to turn things around with your contract expiring at the end of next season?
A: It doesn’t bother me one way or another. I have a job to do and that’s to get the Phillies back to where we can be a perennial contender. And that’s really the ultimate goal. If you wanted to put a stamp on what we’re talking about today it’s about getting the Phillies back to the point where we’re a perennial contender. Does it happen next year? Does it happen in two years? Does it happen in three years? We don’t know yet. But we are in the process … but that’s the goal for long term success, not just the short term success.


Looking Down the Road: Bullpen 2012

Hola, amigos.

I’ve recovered from a three-night trip to Seattle, which included the redeye home Sunday night. If you missed it, yesterday I wrote how the team’s cheap, young relief pitchers could help the Phillies spend money elsewhere in the offseason. That could be big with Jimmy Rollins, Ryan Madson, Raul Ibanez, Roy Oswalt, Brad Lidge, Brian Schneider, Ross Gload and Danys Baez eligible to become free agents after the season. The Phillies literally could be looking for a new shortstop, closer and leftfielder, along with a replacement for Oswalt and more.

Before spring training started the Phillies’ bullpen projected like this: Lidge, Madson, Baez, Jose Contreras, J.C. RomeroAntonio Bastardo and Kyle Kendrick.

Bastardo was the only pitcher making less than a million.

I’ll go on a limb and say the Phillies resign Madson. If that happens the Phillies’ bullpen could look like this in 2012: Madson, Contreras, Bastardo, Michael Stutes and David Herndon taking up the first five spots. Some combination of Michael Schwimer, Justin De Fratus, Mike Zagurski, Phillippe Aumont and other inexpensive relievers taking up the final two spots.

The Phillies would go from six of seven relievers making $1 million or more to just two of seven making $1 million or more. Now, that’s not going to allow the Phillies to go out and sign the most expensive free agents on the market, but a couple million here, a couple million there, can help them replace some of the talent they’re certain to lose.


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The 2010 Payroll

So you’re probably saying to yourself, “The Phillies have spent a lot of money this offseason. Are they really going to be able to add salary if they need help midseason?”

“We’ve never really been denied that opportunity before,” Ruben Amaro Jr. said. “I guess time and circumstance will determine what our needs may be. We’ll continue to monitor through the season and see where our deficincies will be and see if we can attack the problem at the time. Hopefully we’re in the position to be buyers. You never know. It’s a strange game.”

Here is how the 2010 payroll looks, so far at $134.775 million:

Carlos Ruiz – $1.9 million
Brian Schneider – $1.25 million, includes $250,000 signing bonus

Ryan Howard – $19 million
Chase Utley – $15 million
Placido Polanco – $5 million
Jimmy Rollins – $8.5 million, includes $1 million signing bonus
Greg Dobbs – $1.35 million
Juan Castro – $750,000

Raul Ibanez
– $11.5 million
Shane Victorino – $5 million
Jayson Werth – $7 million
Ben Francisco – unsigned
Ross Gload – $1 million

Roy Halladay
– $15.75 million, minus $6 million from Toronto
Cole Hamels – $6.65 million
Joe Blanton – $7 million, includes a $6 million signing bonus
J.A. Happ – unsigned
Jamie Moyer – $8 million, includes $1.5 million in escalator bonuses from last season.

Brad Lidge
– $11.5 million
Ryan Madson – $4.5 million
J.C. Romero – $4 million
Danys Baez – $2.5 million
Chad Durbin – $2.125 million
Jose Contreras – $1.5 million


We Should Be GMs shows everybody why Chase Utley is their hero.


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Phillies Pick Up Rollins' 2011 Option

The Phillies announced today they have picked up Jimmy Rollins‘ 2011 club option. It means the Phillies have 11 players signed through 2011:

  • Roy Halladay, $20 million
  • Ryan Howard, $20 million
  • Chase Utley, $15 million
  • Raul Ibanez, $11.5 million
  • Brad Lidge, $11.5 million
  • Cole Hamels, $9.5 million
  • Rollins, $8.5 million
  • Placido Polanco, $5.25 million
  • Ryan Madson, $4.5 million
  • Ross Gload, $1.6 million
  • Brian Schneider, $1.5 million

(The Phillies also have a 2011 option on J.C. Romero, which is worth $4.5 million.)

The Phillies already have $108.85 million committed in 2011. If their payroll remains in the $140 million range — Phillies president David Montgomery talked Wednesday about finite revenue streams and told other news outlets that the Phillies are operating in the red — then you have to wonder how they are going to fill out the remainder of their 2011 roster. And you really have to wonder about 2012.

Jayson Werth, Joe Blanton, Jamie Moyer and Chad Durbin become free agents after 2010. But things really get interesting after 2011, when Howard, Ibanez, Lidge, Rollins, Madson, Gload, Schneider, Shane Victorino and Greg Dobbs (and possibly Romero) become free agents. That is a lot of holes to fill. Realistically, the Phillies will not be able to re-sign everybody. I think that is why Ruben Amaro Jr. is so concerned about his farm system these days. You can’t just keep signing free agents to big contracts. At some point somebody from the farm needs to step up and play. But who? Will Domonic Brown be able to take one of the corner outfield spots? Will Tyson Gillies or Anthony Gose be able to replace Victorino in center, if he leaves?

Talk amongst yourselves …


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Pitching, Pitching, Pitching and Payroll

polanco.jpgThe Phillies are going to focus on pitching next week at the Winter Meetings.

I mean, what else could they do? They already got Placido Polanco to be their third baseman. They got their backup catcher and utility infielder. Other than pitching help the only thing they need is their last bench player, and Ruben Amaro Jr. said yesterday they could fill that role internally. John Mayberry Jr. played well in Winter Ball in Mexico. He could be a possibility. The Phillies also signed DeWayne Wise and Wilson Valdez to Minor League contracts with invitations to spring training. I’m sure they’ll get looks, although Valdez doesn’t have much outfield experience.

The Phillies have some holes to fill in their bullpen. They also could use a litttle more depth for the rotation. But the bullpen comes first.

“If we could add some depth to the back end of our bullpen that would be great,” Amaro said. “If not, then … we’ll bring some kids in to try to do that. Hopefully we’ll have some candidates to do that in spring training. But our druthers is to try someone who can help us in the back end.”

The Phillies have Brad Lidge, Ryan Madson and J.C. Romero, who is coming off elbow surgery, signed next season. Chad Durbin and Clay Condrey are arbitration eligible, so unless the Phillies decide to non-tender them Dec. 12, they will be back.

The Phillies continue to talk with Chan Ho Park and Scott Eyre, although Amaro could not say if he is optimistic or not. There are indications the Phillies are not interested in J.J. Putz, who missed most of last season with an elbow injury. Fernando Rodney has been been mentioned previously, but he could be out of the Phillies’ price range. reports that the Phillies have made Brandon Lyon a priority.

Let’s take a look at the Phillies’ 2010 payroll to this point:

  • Juan Castro ($700,000)
  • Greg Dobbs ($1.35 million).
  • Cole Hamels ($6.65 million).
  • Ryan Howard ($19 million).
  • Cliff Lee ($9 million).
  • Brad Lidge ($11.5 million).
  • Ryan Madson ($4.5 million).
  • Jamie Moyer ($8.75 million).
  • Placido Polanco ($5.5 million).
  • Jimmy Rollins ($8.5 million).
  • J.C. Romero ($4 million).
  • Brian Schneider ($1.25 million)
  • Chase Utley ($15 million).
  • Jayson Werth ($7 million).
  • Raul Ibanez ($11.5 million).

They have $114.2 million committed to 15 players. That does not include raises for Joe Blanton ($5.475 million last season), Shane Victorino ($3.125 million) and Carlos Ruiz ($475,000), who are salary arbitration eligible. If Durbin ($1.635 million) and Condrey ($650,000) return they also will receive raises. Park made $2.5 million last season. Eyre made $2 million.

Just figuring in the 2009 salaries for those seven players would put the 2010 payroll at $130.06 million. So I think it’s safe to say the 2010 payroll is pushing $140 million. It sounds like that is about the Phillies’ budget, although nobody will say. That is why I think it might be tough to sign somebody like Rodney for the bullpen, and why Amaro said they might have to count on some youngsters to help, if they can’t get the people they want like Park and Eyre. Of course, just when I think I have a pretty good feel for things the Phillies do something unexpected. And unexpected things can happen at the Winter Meetings.


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A Phillies Hot Stove Primer

You’re probably still bummed, but if the Phillies are going to become the first National League team to play in three consecutive World Series since the 1942-44 St. Louis Cardinals they are going to have to have a good offseason. So let’s take a look at what’s ahead in the coming months.

The Phillies, who have the salaries of Adam Eaton, Geoff Jenkins and Jim Thome finally off the books, already have $97.75 million committed to 11 players in 2010: Greg Dobbs ($1.35 million), Cole Hamels ($6.65 million), Ryan Howard ($19 million), Brad Lidge ($11.5 million), Ryan Madson ($4.5 million), Jamie Moyer ($8.75 million), Jimmy Rollins ($8.5 million), J.C. Romero ($4 million), Chase Utley ($15 million), Jayson Werth ($7 million) and Raul Ibanez ($11.5 million).

The Phillies have nine potential free agents:

  • Paul Bako
  • Miguel Cairo
  • Scott Eyre – Type B free agent
  • Pedro Feliz (pending $5.5 million club option)
  • Cliff Lee (pending $9 million club option) – Type A free agent
  • Pedro Martinez
  • Brett Myers
  • Chan Ho Park – Type B free agent
  • Matt Stairs

They have seven players eligible for salary arbitration:

  • Joe Blanton
  • Eric Bruntlett
  • Clay Condrey
  • Chad Durbin
  • Carlos Ruiz
  • Shane Victorino
  • Tyler Walker

Let’s look today at the two players with club options: Lee and Feliz.

We know the Phillies will pick up Lee’s option, which pushes the payroll to 12 players at $106.75 million. Asked last night if he would like to talk about a long-term deal with the Phillies in the off-season, Lee said, “I haven’t really thought about it. It’s not up to me. It’s up to … yeah, I’d like to, but I can’t force anything. That’s out of my control.” I’m guessing both sides will talk about an extension, but I also believe Lee is going to be very interested in testing the free-agent market after the 2010 season. If he pitches like he pitched the past two seasons, he is line for a major payday. I think a deal might be tough to reach, but I thought the same thing about Howard last offseason.

Do the Phillies pick up Feliz’s option? They could, but if they don’t there are options. Chone Figgins easily is the top free-agent third baseman on the market. Adrian Beltre, Juan Uribe, Mark DeRosa, Melvin Mora, Troy Glaus, Hank Blalock and Joe Crede also are out there. How good would Figgins be in this lineup? Fantastic. He hits, gets on base, runs and plays good defense. He sure would look good hitting between Rollins and Utley. Another name is Placido Polanco. He also would look good hitting between Rollins and Utley. He has played third before. In fact, he played there for the Phillies. But is he more comfortable at second base, where he has been since he joined the Tigers? He has not played third since 2005, so would the Phillies even think he can still play there?


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How Much Is Too Much?

halladay 04.jpgThe Blue Jays want J.A. Happ, Kyle Drabek and Dominic Brown.

The Phillies reportedly offered Happ, Carlos Carrasco, Michael Taylor and Jason Donald.

Is Happ, Drabek and Brown too much to give up for Roy Halladay? Halladay is arguably the best pitcher in baseball, and the Phillies would be getting him for two Octobers instead of one. We’re not talking about a bottom-of-the-rotation pitcher here. We’re talking about Roy Freakin’ Halladay. Cy Young winner. Ace. Best of the best.

Two sources said Toronto’s demands are reasonable. So why won’t the Phillies pull the trigger?

They are keeping the future in mind, one source indicated. The Phillies’ rotation today includes Cole Hamels, Joe Blanton, Jamie Moyer, Happ and Rodrigo Lopez/Pedro Martinez. If the Phillies get Halladay for Happ, Drabek and Brown, the rotation next season would include Hamels, Halladay and Moyer, who is 9-7 with a 5.65 ERA this season. Blanton, who is salary arbitration eligible, seems like a smart bet to return, although the Phillies already have $95.5 million committed to 11 players next season. Add Halladay into that mix and the payroll jumps to $110.75 million. It seems unlikely, but it is possible the Phillies could non-tender Blanton, who would get a raise from the $5.475 million he is making, if they feel they need to trim some salary to pay Halladay and the rest of the roster. So that’s one starter if Blanton is back, two if he isn’t.

The Phillies can handle one starter. Maybe even two with Halladay and Hamels atop the rotation. But the number jumps to potentially four starters in 2011. There is no guarantee Halladay re-signs with the Phillies. He could leave for the highest bidder. Moyer presumably won’t be back. Blanton will be a free agent after 2010, and he also could leave for the big payday. That leaves Hamels and four vacancies.

The Phillies are considering those things as they consider a package for Halladay. They want to keep Happ or Drabek so they’re a little better equipped next season and beyond.


Toronto general manager J.P. Ricciardi told FOX’s Ken Rosenthal that the chances of trading Halladay are “very slim.” Others agree. One source believes the chances of Halladay being traded are no better than 50-50. Another said he thinks it’s “unlikely” Halladay gets traded.

But one source said the Phillies’ counter offer, which said the Blue Jays rejected, is fair. He considers Happ a “poor man’s Andy Pettitte” and Taylor to be better than Brown. He also pointed out that entering this season many considered Carrasco to be the organization’s top pitching prospect. He also think Donald can be a good everyday player.

Of course, it only matters what Toronto thinks.


It also is unlikely the Cliff Lee is traded. One source said it could be easier for the Phillies to make a trade for Lee because the package would be bigger, meaning not Drabek or Brown involved.


Been hearing a lot about how the Phillies will have more money to spend next season because the Phillies are shedding the payroll of Adam Eaton ($9 million), Geoff Jenkins ($8 million) and Jim Thome ($3 million). Not exactly. The Phillies have 11 players who are signed through next season or beyond. Those 11 players make $78.25 million this season. But because of built-in raises they will make $95.5 million next season. There goes those savings from Eaton, Jenkins and Thome. And keep in mind, that $95.5 million doesn’t the $5 million club option for Pedro Feliz and salary arbitration figures for Blanton, Shane Victorino, Chad Durbin, Clay Condrey, etc.


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Phillies at the Top in Payroll

USA Today released its annual Major League Baseball payroll database, which says the Phillies have the seventh highest payroll in baseball at a little more than $113 million.

$113 million?

We estimated yesterday that the Phillies’ payroll is more than $132 million. That is quite a difference, but USA Today only includes the 25 players on the Phillies’ Opening Day roster, plus J.C. Romero and Mike Zagurski. It does not include the salaries for Adam Eaton ($9.15 million), Geoff Jenkins ($8 million) and Jim Thome ($3 million) — salaries the Phillies are responsible for and consider part of their payroll.

So push that payroll to more than $132 million and the Phillies rank fourth in baseball behind the New York Yankees ($201.4 million), New York Mets ($149.3 million) and Chicago Cubs ($134.8 million). But remember other payrolls might be a little different, too. The Detroit Tigers, for example, are listed as having a $115 million payroll, but that doesn’t include the $14 million they’re paying Gary Sheffield.

So where should the Phillies be ranked? Let’s just say somewhere near the top. And what makes that even more interesting is that the newspaper reports that 14 of 30 teams this season have reduced payroll compared to last season. But because the Phillies won the World Series, they have been insulated from the recession and boosted payroll more than 25 percent.


The Phillies replaced the carpet in the clubhouse at Citizens Bank Park after last season because it was five years old and needed to be replaced. (Can’t imagine it was easy getting the champagne smell out, either.) So what are they doing with the old carpet? They’re cutting them up and turning them into doormats. MLB authenticated the carpet, so fans will be able to buy the carpet in front of Chase Utley‘s locker or Ryan Howard‘s locker, etc.

And who knows? Maybe somebody in Japan will pay big bucks for the carpet in front of So Taguchi‘s locker.

The carpet could be available later this month, selling for around $250.


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