Phillies news: How they can free up $100 million by 2021

Matt Klentak, Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Matt Klentak, Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /
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PHILADELPHIA, PA – MAY 22: General manager Matt Klentak of the Philadelphia Phillies talks to the media before a game against of the Colorado Rockies at Citizens Bank Park on May 22, 2017 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA – MAY 22: General manager Matt Klentak of the Philadelphia Phillies talks to the media before a game against of the Colorado Rockies at Citizens Bank Park on May 22, 2017 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images) /

Don’t Get Sentimental

This final point goes somewhat hand in hand with the Jay Bruce and Andrew McCutchen arguments, simply making the tough business decision that has to be made when it comes to professional baseball contracts. Just like Bruce doesn’t warrant $10+ million dollars anymore, some of the smaller players on the Phillies roster don’t deserve the money that they are due to get.

Jose Alvarez is set to be a free agent after the 2020 season, and this is a player the Phillies could easily say “so long” to. Despite having his fair share of moments on the team in 2019, overpaying for a reliever who put up a 1.42 WHIP last year would be a mistake. Reinvesting that money into other, more established bullpen options makes more sense.

Another reliever, Hector Neris, is set to hit arbitration next offseason. However, the Phillies could instead opt to activate a $7 million dollar team option. Despite the low WHIP and the above average save numbers, in no circumstance is Neris an elite closer in today’s MLB. Klentak would be wise to play some hard ball with the aging closer, and not pay that improved salary.

Philadelphia Phillies
Philadelphia Phillies /

Philadelphia Phillies

Other players like Adam Morgan and Vince Velasquez are also set to hit arbitration next offseason, and would likely prefer a long term contract of sorts. While these are well-known names amongst Phillies fans, they also represent a time in Phillies baseball where the organization has really struggled. Overpaying to keep either of them would be a poor allocation of resources (especially considering the state of the Phillies pitching staff last year).

In conclusion, between expiring contracts and the hypothetical trading of a few names, the Phillies could clear upwards of $100 million dollars between now and next season. Throw in the release/trade of some smaller names, and that number continues to rise. Even with a JT Realmuto mega-extension looming, the Phillies will have more than enough cap space to once again be extremely active in free agency next year.

Now obviously, the Phillies can’t just get rid of every single player on the roster and replace them with free agents. It’s likely guys like McCutchen, Neris, Morgan, and Velasquez will all be on the team in 2021. However, even just seeing some of the above mentioned names leave the team will be a step in the right direction for the Phillies franchise. Bringing in another star to pair with Bryce Harper and JT Realmuto, while simultaneously turning things over to a strong farm system should hopefully see the Phillies back atop the NL East.

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