4. Not finalizing Kyle Schwarber’s contract
The Phillies and Kyle Schwarber were reportedly close to a deal before MLB’s lockout began on December 2, but couldn’t get it done.
While the mutual interest is there, the unknown of the next Collective Bargaining Agreement was a factor in multiple ways.
Under the CBA that was expiring at the time, the average annual value of a player’s contract is what counts toward’s the team’s luxury tax. Schwarber is looking for a three-year deal in the $60M range. Under the previous CBA, even if the Phillies paid out that $60M in $5M increments for the next 12 years, it would count as $20M/year for three years of luxury tax payrolls, instead.
The next CBA is also almost guaranteed to reimplement the Universal DH, which gives Schwarber, a power-hitter, more suitors than before, and therefore, more competition for the Phillies when the lockout ends.