It is hard to believe, but the 2021 Philadelphia Phillies season officially gets underway on Wednesday as pitchers and catchers have their first spring training workout in Clearwater, Florida. An offseason that began with doubt and uncertainty ultimately ended with optimism for the regular season ahead.
The Phillies have been among the top spenders this offseason. Their free-agent signings of Didi Gregorius, Chase Anderson, Matt Moore, J.T. Realmuto, and Archie Bradley, among other moves, have placed their payroll at the fourth-highest in baseball — $198 million.
According to Spotrac, only the Los Angeles Dodgers ($256 million), Boston Red Sox ($205 million), and New York Yankees ($200 million) have a higher payroll. The Phillies payroll is believed to increase even more in the coming days, once the free-agent signing of utility player Brad Miller becomes official. If the Phillies add any of their non-roster invitees to their big-league roster come Opening Day, that, too, would increase the figure.
While the Phillies will come nowhere close to the Dodgers or Red Sox payroll in 2021, after the Miller signing, they will inch closer to the $210 million luxury tax threshold — which the organization has yet to meet or surpass in franchise history. They likely desire to keep that trend going this coming season and beyond.
If the Phillies want to leave some room for midseason additions, they will need to shed some salary at some point to stay under the $210 million mark. Here are three expendable players they may try to place on the trade block.