2012 Contract Issues: Philadelphia Phillies

The Phillies are next in our 2012 Contract Issues series.  Here's what the team faces after the 2011 season:

Eligible For Free Agency (7)

  • Raul Ibanez will probably be allowed to leave, freeing up some cash and leaving an opening in left field for the Phillies.
  • Shortstop Jimmy Rollins hasn't been a power guy for several years, but he is sporting a career-best walk rate currently.  There is a lot of baseball left to be played, but Rollins, 33 in November, could be the cheaper free agent alternative to Jose Reyes.  The Phils don't have an obvious replacement for Rollins.
  • Ryan Madson, a Scott Boras client, is four-for-four in save opportunities this year with Brad Lidge and Jose Contreras out.  Madson wants to finish his career with the Phillies and be a closer.  The team could let Lidge go and sign Madson for something like three years and $18MM.
  • Danys Baez, Brian Schneider, Ross Gload, and J.C. Romero will also be eligible for free agency.

Contract Options (2)

  • Roy Oswalt: $16MM mutual option with a $2MM buyout.  Oswalt is undecided on whether to play next year.  He's currently on the DL with back pain, so the option seems up in the air for both sides.
  • Brad Lidge: $12.5MM club option with a $1.5MM buyout.  Lidge is recovering from a shoulder injury; it's tough to see the Phillies picking this one up.

Arbitration Eligible (6)

Not all of these players will make it to the point of being tendered contracts.  The only lock is Hamels, who signed an extension in January of '09 but left his fourth arbitration year open.  He's working from a $9.5MM salary and having a strong year so far.  The arbitration cases of Tim Lincecum and Jered Weaver could be factors (more on those here and here), if one or both of them settles first.  $15MM is a reasonable estimate for Hamels, though.  Hamels wants to stay, but the team has yet to approach him about an extension.

2012 Payroll Obligation

The Phillies' 2012 payroll obligation, according to Cot's, is $112.903MM including buyouts for Oswalt and Lidge.  If another $15MM goes to Hamels, they're at $128MM, about $38MM shy of this year's $166MM high water mark.  A lot of that money could be eaten up if Rollins, Madson, Oswalt, Kendrick, and Francisco are retained, which are open questions at this point.  The Phillies have flexibility if they maintain their payroll, but also have several crucial free agents and one huge arbitration case.

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