Several young players on the Phillies roster are due for a payraise this offseason
No team in baseball has as much financial flexibility as the Phillies. After years of carrying a $100 million payroll and picking up a $2.5 billion deal with Comcast, the team has the ability to pay whoever whatever they want.
Odubel Herrera is the only player on the roster whose either not eligible for arbitration or under the team control mark set for pre-arbitration players. The former Rule-5 selection signed a five-year extension worth $30.5 million last season that’ll pay him $3.35 million this season.
Five players will be eligible for salary arbitration: Freddy Galvis, Cesar Hernandez, Luis Garcia, Maikel Franco, and Cameron Rupp. Coincidentally a majority of those players will be on the trade block this offseason.
For a team wanting to acquire one of these players knowing they have some form of financial control makes them even more valuable.
FanGraphs laid out how arbitration plays out between the player and their club.
"Teams must offer eligible players arbitration by December 12th, or else those players are non-tendered and released. After then, players and teams have until January 17th to reach an agreement, or else both sides must submit their salary demands to an arbitration panel. Hearings are conducted throughout the first few weeks of February."
Galvis earned $4.35 last year after his second season of arbitration and he stands to earn a quality pay raise next year. A finalist for the Gold Glove for a second-consecutive season, playing 162 games, and collecting 155 hits will bode well for him in negotiations.
However, the Phillies, or whichever team he’s on by spring training, will point out a .255 batting average, 111 strikeouts, and only 14 stolen bases.
Galvis will likely compare his numbers to St. Louis Cardinals infielder Jedd Gyorko, whose base salary was nearly $5 million more than Galvis. While Galvis likely won’t get $9 million next season somewhere around $6 million is realistic.
Like his double-play partner Hernandez is on the trade block and due for a slight payday. He’s established himself as a bona fide leadoff hitter and hit over .500 on the first pitch last season. His glove isn’t as golden as Galvis’ but he’s reliable enough to play across the field.
Rupp enters his first offseason eligible for arbitration after making just $565,000 but his status on the team is in question with Andrew Knapp and Jorge Alfaro in the mix. Alfaro is out of minor league options so he will be on the major league roster.
Expect Rupp to be traded to a team needing a backup catcher on the cheap. Rupp will be lucky to make $1 million through arbitration.
When Gabe Kapler was introduced as the Phillies new manager the only player on the active roster mentioned was reliever Luis Garcia.
Appearing in a career-high 71.1 innings the 31-year-old looked like a reliable receiver after years of inconsistencies.
Coming off a $535,000 salary Garcia should see a moderate pay raise through either a short-term extension or arbitration. He’s the most likely to receive some form of extension among the five players eligible for arbitration based on his success and the team’s limited resources in the bullpen.
At best it would be a team-friendly deal over three years that would help establish him as a leader in a young bullpen.
Perhaps the biggest piece to the Phillies rebuild is Maikel Franco, who is yet to show what many believe is his full potential. Just 25-years-old Franco make $560,000 last year and should also see a moderate raise.
It wouldn’t be surprising to see him break $1 million, but his leverage on a one-year salary is weak considering his inconsistencies.
Perhaps negotiations this winter combined with the lingering availability of Manny Machado next winter will motivate Franco in a critical season under Kapler.