Amaro Jr. On Payroll, Lee, Howard

The Phillies have already committed $132MM to next year’s payroll, but GM Ruben Amaro Jr. tells Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports that there are limits to how much the NL Champs can spend.

“The payroll can’t continue to go north,” Amaro said. “When you get to a point where you’re basically at 100 percent capacity in your ballpark and 100 percent capacity almost in your revenues, somewhere it’s got to stop.”

Payroll was a consideration in the Cliff Lee deal, but Amaro said potential compensation picks figured into the club’s decision to trade the left-hander. The Phillies expect Lee to sign with a high-payroll club and worried that the compensation picks would be late first rounders at best.

“You get after the 10th or 15th pick in baseball, you’re kind of rolling the dice,” Amaro said. 

Amaro knows he’s going to have to filter young players onto his team’s roster at some point, but he wants to keep Ryan Howard around “forever.” The first baseman is under team control through 2011, so the Phillies have more time to determine their course of action with Howard than they have for Jayson Werth, who hits free agency after this coming season.

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