The business of baseball: How much can the Phillies spend next year

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The Phillies' highest-ever opening day payroll was $178 million in 2014. The record for a first-year arbitration salary was the $10.85 million paid to Kris Bryant this season. It broke the previous record of $10 million for Ryan Howard. (Image courtesy flickr.com)

The numbers are out of this world for most work-a-day folks like us, but in major league baseball millions of dollars are thrown around in conversation like they were quarters in a parking meter.

You’ve been hearing for a while that the Phillies have plenty of money to spend this offseason on top stars if they so choose.

How much money do they have exactly?

Let’s take a look at the 2019 payroll:

If the Phillies do keep Franco and Hernandez, they will be at about $102 million. This takes into account the guaranteed contracts, the arbitration-eligible players and the pre-arb guys, writes Corey Seidman for nbcsports.com. 

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If the Phils trade both Hernandez and Franco, that number should decrease to $88-90 million.

The Phillies’ highest-ever opening day payroll was $178 million in 2014. They may not get all the way back there this offseason — Andy MacPhail did bring up next winter’s free-agent class at his end-of-year press conference — but if they do get very aggressive, there’s about $70 million or so they could add to next year’s payroll.

The following are arbitration-eligible for the first time this offseason:

Aaron Nola
Vince Velasquez
Hector Neris
Aaron Altherr
Jerad Eickhoff
Adam Morgan
Pedro Florimon

• Morgan and Florimon will be easy to move on from. Neither provides a valuable enough skill to pay $1 million or so for. They’re players who can be replaced cheaply by a younger lefty reliever and utilityman.

• Nola made $573,000 in 2018. The record for a first-year arbitration salary was the $10.85 million paid to Kris Bryant this season. It broke the previous record of $10 million for Ryan Howard.

Both Bryant and Howard won Rookie of the Year and MVP in their first two full seasons. So as accomplished as Nola is at this point, he probably won’t make more than they did. Still, it will be a substantial raise for the Phillies’ ace, and depending on how this offseason goes, we could see the Phils give Nola an extension that buys out his first couple years of free agency. If the Phils and Nola go that route, it could cost something in the vicinity of $75 million.

To read the complete story click here. 

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