i don't care if they print money at citizen's bank, can the phillies really afford another 20+ mil contract? add in 8 figures for papelbon and rollins for the next few years and getting a 3B somewhere...that payroll is bound to rise drastically.
According to this, they will be at 108 mil next year with the need to resign Hamels, Pence, and Victorino. Pence will still be arb eligible.....
If Hamels gets 20* mil a year, and Vic gets, lets say 15*...that's a 143 million. Let's for the sake of argument tack on another 12 million for Pence in ARB.....so at 155 million, with the immediate need for a 3rd baseman most likely since Polanco will be way past ancient. Between that and filling out the rest of the team, you're probably going to be stuck with a no-name at 3rd (assuming they wanna continue to retain Kendrick and of course depending on the other bullpen arms ARB numbers)
So really, 2013 is going to be the "tight year" for this team. Past that, the luxury tax goes up to 189 million, and you're looking at 109 million locked up (adding Cole's 20 mil and Vic's 15 onto the 74 million dollar figure). Halladay will be the big ? for 2014...what do they do if he doesn't reach his vesting option? Will he come back at 20 mil a year again or want more? Will the Phillies take him back at anything more then 20? I assume a lot of that will depend on performance over the next two years and how much (if at all) he declines.
For the sake of argument we'll say his option vests and he's on the roster for another 20 mil. So that's 129 mil, with 4 major needs to be addressed in that 60 million dollar window before the luxury tax....Utley, Pence, 3rd Base (if that's not addressed in 2013), and Catcher.
That's really not a bad position to be in at all. Utley will be 35 so they'll prob go in a different direction...Chooch will be cheap even if his bat isn't completely useless at that point. Pence should be the priority IMO, but all of that depends on the FA market at all those positions and what young guys step up for the Phils, if any.
The Phils are going to bank on Hamels ascension making up for the eventual decline in Halladay and Lee's performance, young and/or cheap bullpen arms (hello, every other team in MLB), and jussst enough money to keep playing with the lineup to find something that works. They are obviously hoping one of these young bats steps up and becomes and everyday guy for cheap so they'll have even more money to play with. And the truth is, all of that is going to be good enough to keep them competitive in the NL, keep putting asses in the seats, and keep the money rolling in. After 2014, a lot of money starts coming off the books and they can start trying to replace the aging arms and bats.
*I think it's very possible Cole could get more then 20 mil a year, but I don't think it's likely Victorino gets 15 mil unless he has an outrageous year...so I figure it will balance out in the 35 million dollar range for those two guys.