2011 Contract Issues: Philadelphia Phillies

The Phillies face two contractual options after the season:

  • Lefty reliever J.C. Romero has a $4.5MM club option with a $250K buyout.  The 33-year-old had flexor tendon surgery in October of last year, returning to a big league mound last Friday.
  • Backup infielder Juan Castro has a $750K club option with a $50K buyout.

Four more players will be eligible for free agency: Jamie Moyer, Jayson Werth, Chad Durbin, and Jose Contreras.  Talks with Werth are currently at an impasse.  These four account for $18.625MM in 2010 salaries.  If all six players leave, and we include buyouts that will be paid this year to Adam Eaton, Pedro Feliz, and Geoff Jenkins, the Phillies have about $26MM coming off the books.

Raises to players under contract should swallow about $21MM of that freed up money.  Roy Halladay has the biggest increase, as his salary rises $4.25MM and the Blue Jays won't be sending $6MM again.  Cole Hamels and Shane Victorino also see increases north of $2MM.  Arbitration cases are light – Kyle Kendrick and Ben Francisco are first-timers, while Greg Dobbs would fit into the third-time class.

It appears that holding payroll steady and allowing all free agents to leave would give the Phillies a few million bucks to spend.  They won't have the flexibility to add top or mid-tier players in the 2010-11 offseason unless they raise payroll or dump a contract via trade.