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.

45 Responses to Amaro Jr. On Payroll, Lee, Howard Leave a Reply

  1. Guest 5 years ago

    I don’t think the Phillies will re-sign Jayson Werth. Especially with Dominic Brown waiting in the wing.

    The Phillies have to be able to get those picks signed. They have done so well in the drafts in recent years.

    • RiverKKiller999 5 years ago

      Yeah me too.I think he’ll test the free agency and go after a good chunk of money .

      • Guest 5 years ago

        Jason Bay money I bet.

        • jrollpatrol08 5 years ago

          eh…hes had ONE great, breakout year in 2009. he will need another great 2010 campaign to get jason bay money. i love what werth brings to the table–right handed bat with deep-ball threat, excellent plate coverage and easily the best plate discipline on the team (possibly top 5 in the league.) maybe a tough guy to replace, but it is possible. and the phils have a load of OF prospects. not to say they will produce like jayson, but they will be part of the ‘pieces’ ruben was talking about as far as making the machine work for years. its def gonna be werth or howard…and i think ruben is serious about tryin to keep homegrown howard around “forever” simply becuase his power/production cannot be replaced…unless pujols comes to town

          • im not entirely worried about Jayson leaving after this year cause dominic brown is about ready and should be up to par by 2011 im not syaing hes gonna be like the roy, that would be great though, but he should be solid…….also howard will atleast test the market but he wont go anywhere he will likely sign long term

  2. David 5 years ago

    Amaro talks about not being excited about the lower first round picks, but the first 15 picks are protected anyway even if Lee would have signed with someone in that grouping. Seems like he’s just making excuses here.

    • Paul Boyé 5 years ago

      I don’t think RAJ was saying that he’d get a top-15 if Lee signed with a club that did worse in ’08/’09, I’m willing to bet he knew that. I think he was comparing the potential return in a Type A situation with what was available in trade.

      Again, good in theory, not so great in execution.

      • bjsguess 5 years ago

        Agreed that this was worded really poorly. The best you can get is the 16th pick in the draft.

        And while there is more value in trading him (despite the haul being just so/so) you also miss out on any contributions he makes while still a Philly. I think Philadelphia will regret the move.

      • David 5 years ago

        Oh I wasn’t saying that he didn’t know that, but I just personally think it would have been better left unsaid. Maybe only nerds like me even pick up on that sort of thing.

        • RAJ was saying that it wasn’t worth keeping Lee to get picks because they would be late first round picks at best because a good team will sign Lee. My argument is…so? The Phillies have had a good track record with drafting in the first round, with the exception of 2008 when they knew they had extra picks and could afford to roll the dice on Anthony Hewitt. If I’m RAJ, I’d rather have one year of Halladay and Lee together, plus a compensation pick than Aumont, Gillies, and Ramirez, who they got in return for trading Lee. He should trust his own organization’s drafting abilities rather than the Mariners’ questionable regime when it was under Bavasi’s direction (which it was when they took Aumont).

          • bflaff 5 years ago

            >He should trust his own organization’s drafting abilities rather than the Mariners’ >questionable regime when it was under Bavasi’s direction (which it was when they took >Aumont).

            Considering that one of the Phillies’ VPs is Benny Looper, who was the Mariner’s VP of Player Development until he was picked up by the Phillies after the 2008 season, I think it’s fair to say that the Phillies have a very strong idea of what they are getting.

        • gwrange 5 years ago

          “Maybe only nerds like me even pick up on that sort of thing.”

          Because the concept of protected compensatory picks is beyond our unintellectual grasp, right?

    • lakersdodgersyankees4life 5 years ago

      I think he was saying that they werent going to get a Strasburg, Longoria, Kershaw, Lincecum, etc type pick for Lee, and that they would most likely be getting a 25 or later pick, because a contender is most likely to sign Lee. Basically, he is saying is the 25th pick and a compensation pick worth it for Lee..

  3. Paul Boyé 5 years ago

    As for Howard, RAJ is saying the right thing with “forever,” but even he must know that Howard can’t be worth what he’ll be getting paid in 5 years; his body type and production are red flags for that far down the line.

  4. Don’t see anything bad with Jason wanting to get paid like he should.

  5. Muggi 5 years ago

    Nope, nothing wrong at all with Werth wanting to get paid…just wish the Phils could afford him.

  6. phillies has to choose between werth or howard. how about trading ibanez, that would free up some money. then may be they can afford both.

    • Dylan 5 years ago

      I like the idea of trying to trade Ibanez after this year for payroll relief, but what can you really get with a 40 year old OF. Although, if he has another great year, I’m sure Phillies could get a young arm and have them take on his contract. (Giants and Rangers come to mind for me)

      • Utley4God 5 years ago

        Ibanez has a no trade clause.. otherwise I love that idea.. doubt he’d wave it.

        • he probably wouldnt but they may try…….ik the giants are lacking a crapload of power besides rowand and sandoval they could use him, but question is would he wave his dumb little clause and if he did who would we pick up for him

    • Unfortunately, the 3rd year on that contract may be an albatross and probably cost the Phils resigning Werth. Brown and his league minimum contract will take over in right next year, which will help with payroll.

    • lakersdodgersyankees4life 5 years ago

      who will want Ibanez? He will be close to 40 and if you take out his hot start, and balance it with career norms, his year was ‘blah’ at best

      • schmenkman 5 years ago

        Why would you take out his hot start? He’s always been streaky, so you have to take the hot with the cold. Overall he had a very good year. 16th highest OPS in the NL. I don’t think “blah” gives him enough credit. And in case anyone is thinking “CBP”, he hit better on the road: .930 OPS/21 HRs on the road, .862/13 HRs at home.

      • schmenkman 5 years ago

        Why would you take out his hot start? He’s always been streaky, so you have to take the hot with the cold. Overall he had a very good year. 16th highest OPS in the NL. I don’t think “blah” gives him enough credit. And in case anyone is thinking “CBP”, he hit better on the road: .930 OPS/21 HRs on the road, .862/13 HRs at home.

  7. ekt8750 5 years ago

    Yeah if they move Ibanez, that would free up money for Werth and a roster spot for Brown. I like that Amaro came out and said he wants Howard here forever.

    If the Phillies need a way to expand revenue, they need to look at what the Yankees and Red Sox did. The Red Sox redid their TV contract with NESN a while back and got themselves a controlling interest in the network. The Yankees did one better and started their own TV network. The Phillies need to step up to Comcast SportsNet and redo their deal with them cause they’re pretty much getting screwed with their current package.

  8. NYBravosFan10 5 years ago

    I don’t think the Phillies are gonna be able to sign Jayson Werth. Hell, why not get ahead of the game and trade him mid-season and get some much-needed prospects? Unless he’s tearing it, then you should prolly keep him. But in the doubtful scenario that you guys aren’t contending, you can pretty much kiss him goodbye and it would be for the best.

  9. JohnLucarelli 5 years ago

    I don’t know Swishers contract, but if Werth repeats his 09 season this year, I can see him signing with the Yankees.

    • ultimate913 5 years ago

      Swisher is under contract for a few more seasons and I’m pretty sure everyone knows Carl Crawford is going to take the LF spot in 2011.

    • David 5 years ago

      I could see Werth going to a team like the Tigers.

    • pdoubleu 5 years ago

      I think the Red Sox are a much better bet, particularly with Ortiz and Lowell coming off the books after this year and JD Drew gone after 2011.

  10. the phils could resign him if he takes a back loaded contract. after 2011 they have 70 million coming off the books. that would be the only way unless he takes a discount which is not going to happen considering he is 31 and this is going to be his payday.

    • NYBravosFan10 5 years ago

      that sounds like a good idea to give him a back loaded contract but I get the feeling that another team will give a contract that is more balanced and probably for more money. I think that he will own pitchers again this year and continue to be a solid defender and baserunner and he will have himself a nice chunk of change for some team in 2011. I am gonna go with whoever above said the Red Sox

  11. chaseiam 5 years ago

    Such a shame for the Phillies and their fans. He has really evolved over his several years in Philadelphia. I hold out hope, but the Phillies owners have the final call and they’ll keep the $ for themselves.

  12. jwsox 5 years ago

    also about keeping howard forever? The guy is one of the worst defensive first basemen in the game. Yes he is one of the btest power hitters in the game as well. he is a .270 hitter (im not even going to bring RBI’s into this becuase that has wayy more to do with the guys in front of him than ryan howard him self) who can hit 40+ (Could hit 60+ if he worked on pitch recognition, and didnt swing at everything) he sluggs for over .500 with a .330 obp…but his defense he has had less thah 12 errors twice in his career and those two years were not full season…I mean avg. more than 12 errors at FIRSTBASE? come on…this guy screams DH….More than likely Utley will be moved to 1st at some point to lengthen his career(helps the phills D a ton doing that) and Ryan will be traded or sign somewhere in the AL…Keep this guy forever if they do they wont win..his career is quickly leaning towards DH

    • Howard is nowhere near one of the worst fielding first basemen in baseball. He’s league average, maybe slightly above. You should watch some Phillies games, talk to some baseball people & maybe check out some of the advanced defensive metrics. Counting errors is a stupid way to evaluate a player’s defensive skills.

      • jwsox 5 years ago

        why does everyone say that errors are directly related to defense…he is not average he is below average and yeah he is a great fielder when he leade the league a year ago in errors for first basemen granted he is no adam dunn but he is no lock at first either

        • Dylan 5 years ago

          Yeah cuz 1B are really there for the defense. Come on man, such a weak many games has Howard cost the Phillies because of his defense, maybe 2 or 3 in his career. How many has he won becuase of his bat? Too many to count. And the fact that he continues to lose weight and work on his defense shows what kind of player he is…He should be a Philly forever.

          • jwsox 5 years ago

            I understand that the GM wants one of their best bats to be there forever but the simple fact is he wont be. He is already making 19 mill this upcoming season and he is only 30 with under 5 yrs of service time. He will easily command 20-25+ mill a season once this contract is up after. And i simply dont think the phills would be able to match a contract from either the yanks(he would KILL at yankee stadium) or the bosox…maybe even the mets if they get their money solved

          • jwsox 5 years ago

            the only way players ever stay forever is if they sign long term contracts when they are young ie evan longoria and grady sizemore…And also add into the fact that howard is a big home run threat the only way they truly stay “forever” is if they can DH too…heck look at frank thomas one of the best right handed power threats over the past 20 yrs and he didnt even stay with the sox forever

    • actually howard just came off of one of his best defensive seasons ever after losing all the weight hes much more mobile, and can make some spectacular plays

    • PHLPVD 5 years ago

      If you look at more legitimate defensive statistics than errors he’s actually slightly above league average for 1B.

  13. jwsox 5 years ago

    if i were raj i would want to keep utley there and shane there for ever maybe werth as well and move ryan in a season or two to free up money and get prospects in return..he wil very very soon be commanding 20 million a season and there are only a few players out there worth it(in all reality no one person is worth 20 million a year but in sports there are only a few, Albert, Joe, pushing it for tex and arod…probably adrian gonzo considering he is only like 26…no pitcher is every worth 20 mill a season considering they only pitch 1 out of every 5 days

  14. Muggi 5 years ago

    With all due respect, basing any argument on a “fact” that came out of the mouth of Scott Boras immediately invalidates said argument.

    Also, keep in mind you’ve listed just about every revenue stream without listing a single business expense. I don’t doubt teams make money, but saying they’re making loads of money is a baseless assumption.

    I can’t recall where I read it, was just a day or two ago, but a writer equated the Phils’ revenue to the Cards…who struggle to spend $100m.

  15. jwsox 5 years ago

    agreed about boras take everything he says with a grain of salt…And int erms of the money everyone knows the every single team has millions and millions and millions flowing in almost everyday…But think about all the people they pay…They pay everying single player on their 25 and 40 man rosters..and they pay the minor leaguers too. They pay managers and coaches from low single A to the bigs…They even play players not on their teams. They buy Ad space, they pay for people who take care of thier parks. I know people who work for Us Cell, on any given game day there are a few hundred people working there and thats not counting people who have the day off. They have team medical staffs and team nutritionists. Scouts that go all over the world. And then there are the front office people. These teams are legit corporations with Thousands of employees not to mention the hundreds if not thousands of people collecting retirement from them. So dont make it seem like all that money only goes to the GM, manager, pitching/hitting coaches and the players on the 25 man..there are thousands of other people getting the money from the team. So they may very well be close to breaking even like he said…

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