The Philadelphia Phillies have three players possibly headed to arbitration prior to spring training, unless a contract agreement is reached prior to their hearings.
Those three players have all been offered 2016 contracts, will fill various roles with the team, and will take various salaries to get a deal done. All could end up on one-year deals, though one may have a shot at getting a multi-year offer from the club.
Tim Dierkes at MLB Trade Rumors came up with projections for each of Major League Baseball’s 30 clubs in arbitration, and figured that the Phillies should spend $13.5 million in the arbitration process for five players.
That Dierkes figure included both Peter Bourjos and Andres Blanco, each of whom has been signed to a one-year contract for next season, thus avoiding the arbitration process. Bourjos signed for $2 million, and Blanco for $1.45 million.
Blanco has now appeared in parts of eight big league seasons. In 2015, he had 261 plate appearances over 106 games in which he hit for a .292/.360/.502 slash line with seven home runs and 22 doubles.
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He played every position in the infield as well: 3rd base (36), 2nd base (22), shortstop (10), and one game at 1st base. Blanco made $850,000 this past season, so his new contract provides him a tidy raise.
Bourjos has appeared in six seasons in MLB, and has a career .241/.302/.380 slash line with 32 homers, 59 doubles, and 55 steals over 1,655 career plate appearances. He has played in 250 games over the last three seasons, all in center field. He made $1.65 million last season with the Saint Louis Cardinals.
Sep 20, 2015; San Francisco, CA, USA; New starting pitcher Hellickson is arbitration eligible. He could receive a multi-year deal with the Phillies. (Photo Credit: Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports)Galvis was the Phillies starting shortstop in 2015, appearing in 151 games in which he had a .263/.302/.343 slash line across 603 plate appearances. He made just over $513,000 for the season, and cannot become a free agent until after the 2018 campaign.
Gomez appeared in 65 games out of the bullpen in 2015, recording a 3.01 ERA with a 50/17 K:BB ratio. He allowed 82 hits across 74.2 innings. Gomez made $800,000 this year, and doesn’t become a free agent until following the 2017 season.
Hellickson is the player who could conceivably receive a two or three-year deal. The 28-year old, 6-year righthander went 9-12 over 27 starts for the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2015, allowing 151 hits over 146 innings with a 121/43 K:BB ratio. He made $4.275 million last season, and is set to become a free agent after the coming season.
The Phillies have a growing number of starting pitching options, and more coming from their minor leagues. But a youngish veteran like Hellickson who has had big league success might be just the type of arm that the club would want to keep around for a couple of years while the kids develop more fully.
Baseball Reference has the Phillies current payroll at $79.2 million, and projects that by the time the arbitration eligible players are settled up, and the roster filled out, the final salary tab will come to around the $101 million mark for the 2016 season.
The team salaries on Opening Day of this past season were nearly $147 million, according to Cot’s Baseball Contracts at Baseball Prospectus. That was down from a franchise record of nearly $178 million for the 2014 season.
Phillies team payroll reached above the $100 million mark for the first time immediately following the 2008 World Series victory, and has not opened a season below that mark since.