Offseason Outlook: Philadelphia Phillies

The World Champion Phillies conclude our Offseason Outlook series.  Their likely 2009 commitments:

C – Carlos Ruiz – $425K
C – Chris Coste – $415K
1B – Ryan Howard – $10MM+
2B – Chase Utley – $11MM
SS – Jimmy Rollins – $7.5MM
3B – Pedro Feliz – $5MM
IF – Eric Bruntlett – $600K+
IF/OF – Greg Dobbs – $440K+
LF – Jayson Werth – $1.7MM+
CF – Shane Victorino – $480K+
RF – Geoff Jenkins – $6.75MM
OF – Matt Stairs – $1MM
OF – Greg Golson – $400K

SP – Cole Hamels – $500K+
SP – Brett Myers – $12MM
SP – Joe Blanton – $3.7MM+
SP – J.A. Happ – $400K
SP – Kyle Kendrick – $445K

RP – Brad Lidge – $11.5MM
RP – J.C. Romero – $4MM
RP – Ryan Madson – $1.4MM+
RP – Chad Durbin – $900K+
RP – Clay Condrey – $420K+
RP – R.J. Swindle – $400K
RP – Andrew Carpenter – $400K

Other commitments: Adam Eaton – $8.5MM, Tom Gordon – $1MM

That’s about $89MM committed, plus arbitration raises to Howard, Bruntlett, Dobbs, Werth, Victorino, Blanton, Hamels, Madson, Durbin, and Condrey.  The raises should push the Phillies past $115MM.  The Phillies’ ’09 payroll is not set at this time.  They entered the season at $98.2MM, so a large increase is necessary.

As you can see above, re-signing Jamie Moyer and Scott Eyre will go a long way toward rounding out the pitching staff.  The Phils may be interested in bringing in an additional starter and another reliever.

Since the Phillies have entertained the idea of re-signing Pat Burrell, we can assume they’re willing to spend at least $10MM on left field.  The money could go toward any number of righthanded bats.  The biggest names don’t seem to fit into the payroll, but there are good options in the $12MM or less bracket.  The Phillies ranked 7th of 16 NL clubs in OBP, so finding someone who can match Burrell’s .370 is important.  They could also make up ground with an OBP improvement from Howard (.339) and more production behind the plate.

A full season of Blanton gives the Phils a respectable #1-4, assuming Moyer returns.  The key players from the bullpen will be back.  The Phillies won’t look much different in 2009.  They didn’t win the World Series on a bunch of career years, so keeping this group intact is a reasonable strategy.

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