Phillies Payroll Situation

We’ll get into this more when we do an offseason outlook for the Phillies in a few weeks.  But Jim Salisbury’s column on the team’s ’09 payroll commitments deserves an early look.

Salisbury computes that the Phillies will have over $100MM committed just to retain current under-contract and arb-eligible players.  Ryan Howard, Cole Hamels, and others will receive large raises. 

Jamie Moyer and Pat Burrell are free agents.  Moyer seems likely to re-sign for $8-10MM, but Burrell is a question mark.  The Phillies don’t like the idea of giving Burrell a third year, which he could easily find on the open market.

Burrell may leave, but Salisbury doesn’t see the Phillies bringing in Manny Ramirez, Matt Holliday, Raul Ibanez, or Milton Bradley to replace him for various reasons.  Magglio Ordonez might be available, but he’s basically under contract for three years at $48MM.  And the Phils would have to send useful players to Detroit.  More affordable options the Phillies can consider include Casey Blake and Juan Rivera.

Salisbury also says the Phillies need to add a setup man this winter.  With Brian Fuentes intent on closing, they’ll need to dig through a lesser tier of free agent relievers.

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