Phillies should take advantage of Dodgers luxury tax woes

Joe Kelly #17 of the Los Angeles Dodgers (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Joe Kelly #17 of the Los Angeles Dodgers (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) /

The Los Angeles Dodgers re-signing infielder Justin Turner for two years, $34 million, with a $14 million team option for a third year, put them in a real financial predicament. The Philadelphia Phillies should take advantage of that and help them get out of their woes, while getting a solid player in return.

The Dodgers are currently on the hook to pay almost $14 million in luxury tax. reports that the signing puts the 2020 World Series champions’ current payroll in excess of $250 million. Not only does that exceed the base luxury tax threshold of $210 million, and the first surcharge threshold of $230 million, but also the second surcharge threshold of $250 million.

Because of their payroll being so high, the Dodgers are currently on the hook for paying nearly $14 million in luxury tax. Also, if their payroll remains more than $250 million, the highest Dodgers draft pick would be moved back by 10 places in the order.

Two players the Phillies should try to acquire from the Dodgers.

The Dodgers need to shed salary to at least get below the second surcharge threshold. “It’s plausible the Dodgers will attempt to get back under that line, perhaps by trading Joe Kelly and his $8.33 million competitive balance tax hit,” writes.

Kelly, 32, is a two-time World Series champion that has a 3.40 career postseason ERA through 33 appearances and 53 innings. This past regular season, the nine-year veteran shined spanning 12 appearances with the Dodgers, recording a 1.80 ERA. The California native would be a solid addition to the overhauled Phillies bullpen, which looks to be far better than its 2020 season showing.

Another Dodgers player being speculated to now be on the trade block is five-time All-Star, 2012 American League Cy Young Award winner, and 12-year veteran David Price — whom the Phillies opposed as a Tampa Bay Rays rookie in the 2008 World Series.

Owed $32 million this and next season, half of which will be paid by the Boston Red Sox, Price would add another decent left-handed presence to the Phillies rotation, complementing Matt Moore. The 35-year-old did not pitch this past season for the Dodgers, as he opted out amid COVID-19 concerns in early July. In 2019 with the Red Sox, Price went 7-5 with a 4.28 ERA and 128-32 strikeouts-to-walks ratio spanning 22 starts and 107 1/3 innings. The year prior, Price won 16 games and posted an ERA shy of 3.60.

NBC Sports Philadelphia reports the Phillies payroll is expected to approach $206 million, if reliever Brandon Kintzler makes the team and the reported Brad Miller free-agent signing comes to fruition. If the Phillies can make it happen and fit within their budget, either Kelly or Price would be a significant addition for their new-look bullpen or rotation, respectively, heading into spring training.

More. Team chemistry could carry Phillies long way in 2021 season. light