3 Obstacles standing in the Philadelphia Phillies’ way in 2022

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Can the Philadelphia Phillies overcome a weak roster, payroll limitations, and strong rivals in the NL East to be a postseason team in 2022?

The Philadelphia Phillies have a lot stacked against them in 2022, so much so that even in the midst of a 2+ month MLB lockout, it’s hard to see them contending

Now, hopefully, next October, we can dig up this article and send it to Old Takes Exposed, gleefully enjoying a Phillies postseason berth. But the Phils will have to overcome several obstacles in order to make that possible.

Here are three reasons the Phillies don’t look like contenders right now…

1. The Phillies’ payroll is too high, but their roster is full of holes

With the $10M addition of Corey Knebel, the heavyweights already on the roster, and unfortunate costs like Scott Kingery counting towards their luxury tax payroll despite not being on the 40-man, the Phillies are staring down quite a hefty bill before even enjoying their meal.

The Phillies have an estimated $30M left before they hit the threshold, which doesn’t sound like enough to make the moves they both want and need. Kyle Schwarber, for instance, wants a three-year deal for $60M. If the new Collective Bargaining Agreement keeps Average Annual Value (AAV) as the deciding allocator towards a team’s luxury tax payroll, then signing him will tack an extra $20M onto the Phillies’.

Now, the Phillies could (and should) say “To heck with the luxury tax!” and spend whatever they need to in order to strengthen the roster, but history suggests they won’t. Specifically, the fact that they’ve never exceeded the threshold before.

The Phillies have overwhelming talents in Bryce Harper and Zack Wheeler, but they also have a lot of talent that will hit free agency in the next offseason. So, the front office needs to decide: Is this a last hurrah for the old guard, or do we build a new team next year when so much money comes off the books?

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