How much can the Phillies actually spend this offseason?

A general view of Citizens Bank Park (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
A general view of Citizens Bank Park (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /
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Zack Wheeler #45 of the Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

Phillies Due for Raises in their Current Contracts

  • Zack Wheeler – 2020 Salary: $21.5 million, 2021 Salary: $22.5 million
  • Andrew McCutchen – 2020 Salary: $17 million, 2021 Salary: $20 million
  • Aaron Nola – 2020 Salary: $8 million, 2021 Salary: $11.75 million
  • Scott Kingery – 2020 Salary: $1.5 million, 2021 Salary: $4 million
  • Odubel Herrera – 2020 Salary: $7.35 million, 2021 Salary: $10.35 million

That adds up to $13.25 million in raises for 2021. Subtract that from the previous total ($58.625 million), and we’re left with $45.375 million coming off the books.

It’s also safe to assume that the Phillies will tender Zach Eflin, Rhys Hoskins and Andrew Knapp contracts in arbitration. Based on arbitration numbers for similar players, I estimate that raises for those three will cost somewhere between $5 to $6 million.

That means our new total is approximately $40 million coming off the books in 2021.

Note: The Phillies will also likely tender contacts to at least a few of the eight other arbitration-eligible players on their roster, which would reduce the total spending room even further.

Potential Non-Tenders

The Phillies could save $8.2 million more by non-tendering Hector Neris (2020 Salary: $4.6 million) and Vince Velasquez ($3.6 million). However, they’d likely have to spend at least that much money to replace these two on the free agent market.

They could also non-tender cheaper players like Phil Gosselin ($575,000), David Hale ($575,000) and Adam Morgan ($1,575,000). Once again, the savings here are negligible, considering the Phillies would have to pay three other guys to replace them on the roster.

Final Totals

If the Phillies non-tender all five players I mentioned, that leaves them with a grand total of about $51 million to fill 14 spots on the roster.

Even if the Phillies were to fill 9 of those spots with guys making the league minimum (which is highly unlikely) that would leave the team with about $46 million to spend on only five free agents.

And that doesn’t even account for a payroll reduction.

If the reports are true that the Phillies plan to reduce their payroll in 2021, that leaves the team with very little money to spend on a catcher, a middle infielder, another starting pitcher, and a few quality relievers.

If John Middleton doesn’t invest some more money into this team, the Phillies could be even more disappointing next season than they were this year.

Additional Notes

My Luxury Tax Calculations: Arrieta ($25 million) + Realmuto ($10 million) + Gregorius ($14 million) + Robertson ($11.5 million) + Bruce ($1.375 million) + Alvarez ($2.95 million) + Hunter ($850,000) + $2 million increased luxury tax threshold = $68.125 million

All contract information comes from Spotrac.

To learn more about the Phillies’ payroll as it pertains to the luxury tax, you can read these excellent pieces by Corey Seidman for Yahoo Sports and Matt Gelb for The Athletic.

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