Arbitration Eligibles: Philadelphia Phillies

The Phillies won their hundredth game last night, and with two games remaining against Atlanta they have a hand in determining who they'll play when the NLDS begins Saturday.  But for the moment, let's look ahead to their arbitration class as the next entry in our arbitration eligibles series.

There is a case for non-tendering Valdez and Orr, though neither player would earn even $1MM in 2012.  Francisco and Kendrick seem useful enough at $1.5MM and $3.3MM, respectively.

Pence and Hamels are the big-money cases.  Pence projects at $11MM, a $4.1MM raise after he won his arbitration hearing in February for $6.9MM.  Hamels signed a three-year extension in January of '09, but smartly left his final arbitration year open.  With a $9.5MM salary this year, he's in line for more than $14MM in 2012.  The Phillies plan to give Hamels a couple of relief innings tomorrow, with an eye on possibly getting him his 15th win.  Matt Swartz tweets that the gesture would cost them an extra $200K in arbitration if successful, according to our model.

Retaining Kendrick, Francisco, Pence, and Hamels could cost about $30MM for 2012.  Including Roy Oswalt's buyout, the Phillies project to have about $143MM in 2012 commitments before accounting for minimum salary players.  That's about $23MM less than this year's Opening Day payroll.

Matt Swartz contributed to this post.

27 Responses to Arbitration Eligibles: Philadelphia Phillies Leave a Reply

  1. JPH_GSG 4 years ago

    That projected $23 million can be used on Madson, Rollins, and a veteran middle innings guy for the bullpen. Free agent/internal options don’t provide much as far as an upgrade if they were to stray from one of those two guys, outside of Jose Reyes. I wouldn’t want Reyes (he’ll cost too much), but it’s the Phillies so it will probably happen.

    • Why does everyone insist on making Ryan Madson a priority?   I offer Rollins a fair deal for three years, and then do the same for Madson.  When Boras/Madson reject that offer, I move on to LOCKING UP COLE HAMELS.  In fact, avoiding arbitration by giving Cole a multi-year deal is priority #1 this offseason.

      • lisainnj 4 years ago


        The reason the FO makes Madson a priority is because we need a closer, and he’s been amazing this year!  Bastardo is showing kinks in his armor, so I would use him as the set-up guy. 

        As far as Rollins goes, I would not give him more than two years.  Jimmy already said he would NOT give the Phillies a hometown discount, and Jimmy is quoted as saying he wants a five-year deal! I don’t think any MLB franchise will give him that many years … four maybe, but not five!  Finally, Jimmy no longer hustles to first base and that totally frustrates me.  He is getting paid to hustle, but he only does so when it’s prudent for him to do so.

        And, yes, the Phillies need to lock up Cole Hamels!

        • There are other “closers” not named Ryan Madson out there.  And who NEEDS a closer in April?  That is a need that can alwasy be addressed in season if need be.  There is no reason in the world to drive a Brinks truck full of cash to Ryan Madson’s door, ESPECIALLY after we just mailed Brad Lidge his $1.5M buyout check.

          Signing closers to big money extensions is ALWAYS a mistake. 

  2. Christopher David 4 years ago

    Valdez is an inexpensive and essential part of the bench. He’s gotta stay.

    Amaro doesn’t screw around, so Pence and Hamels will almost assuredly get extensions before reaching arbitration.

    KK has been solid in the pen and in spot starts this season. The guy has just been durable through and through. A lot of people have questioned why the organization has bothered to retain him all this time, and I think this season he has really proven his worth.

    Orr has been fine for depth this year w/ Utley’s injury, but I think as long as Chase stays healthy, I’d rather see Freddy Galvis fill that organizational infield depth role.

    Ben Fran is in an odd spot. Brandon Moss found a way to get hot this season in AAA, and as long as John Mayberry Jr. continues to impress, and Dom Brown finds some way to improve, Francisco is going to be like a 6th outfielder. The only value I can see him having is as a PH, since Old Man Gload can barely walk, and John Bowker flat out stinks.

    • Ben Fran is a righty

      • Christopher David 4 years ago

        Had a brain fart. Fixed.

        Btw, thanks for pointing that out and strengthening my argument, ha ha. Him being a righty means he pretty much has zero value.

    • Phillies_Aces35 4 years ago

      Wilson Valdez is a dime a dozen. I don’t understand where this “vital
      piece of the bench comes from.” I’m sure they could get a guy to play
      average defense at short and ground into a million double plays

      • But not every average defense shortstop can pitch, can they? ;D haha

        • Phillies_Aces35 4 years ago

          That’s true but Wilson Valdez doesn’t really do anything else that stands out.

          He’s a terrible hitter.
          He has an above average arm but he isn’t a great defender.
          He’s slow. He can’t be used as a pinch runner… well I mean he can be but he isn’t that much of an upgrade over anybody.
          Because of his terrible hitting and his lack of speed, he hits into a ton of double plays in key situations and gets himself out, a lot like Ibanez because of the fact he swings at everything.

          The Phillies could find an upgrade for the league minumum.

          • Dylan 4 years ago

            Check his numbers this year with RISP…however, I don’t see keeping him and minimart for Galvis could be ready soon and maybe they could move Jimmy to third then…

          • Phillies_Aces35 4 years ago

            It’s all luck. He generally hits 8th and people throw fastballs down the middle that he hits into a hole somewhere. When good pitchers like Chris Carpenter, Tim Hudson, etc bear down against him the at bat usually ends with a 5-4-3 double play.

            He’s not some type of super clutch player like Carlos Ruiz (which is all crap too but I don’t want to talk about him).

          • lisainnj 4 years ago

            Jimmy is a free agent after the 2011 season is over.  I seriously doubt he will return to the organization …

  3. pb111 4 years ago

    No way Ben Francisco is tendered a contract next year. No need for a 1.5 mil 6th OF with not much speed & that can’t field. Valdez most certainly will… three words… defense, defense, defense.  Especially consindering the injury history of three more words…. Utley, Rollins, Polanco

  4. moondog45 4 years ago

    Francisco got a chance of a lifetime and failed. He’s gone. Valdez has been very good as an extra guy. So has Kendrick as a long man/ spot stater who knows his role and doesn’t complain. As good as Reyes is he just too injury prone. Sign Pence and Hamels long term.

  5. I just shook my tree out back, and 15 guys just like Wilson Valdez fell out of it.

    What is with you guys?  I mean Valdez has a good arm.  That’s it.  He is not very fast, espeically with that hammy right now, he hits into double plays at an amazing rate, and has zero pop (1 HR / ~300 PA’s).  I non-tender him and see if he wants to come back at the minimum.  I mean he’s 34, so he’s even OLDER than the guys he is backing up, with the exception of Polanco.  There will be other utility guys out there, I see no reason to rush into a 100% raise with Valdez, given some of the other needs.

    I do the same with Kendrick.  Regardless of Oswalt’s option, Blanton and Worley will fill out the rotation next year.  Kendrick simply does not posess the swing and miss stuff to be a later inning pitcher.  Given the payroll, spending $3.3M on a long relief pitcher is something that no team in their right mind would intentionally do.  Again, non tender and try to retain.

    I think Francisco is going to be non tendered.  However, given the state of flux in LF with Ibanez being gone, and a few unknowns with Mayberry and Brown, Amaro should look for ways to add some additional depth in the outfield.  If that means brining Francisco back at less money, I would be ok with that.

    Pence and Hamels should be given multi-year deals.

    Orr is just a replacement player.  He spent most of the year in AAA for a reason.  I would non-tender.

  6. nm344 4 years ago

    The biggest question is Rollins.  While Madson is an excellent pitcher there are so many free agent closers this year that we can do the musical chair thing with one of them to save some cash.   The young relievers Savery/Schwimer/DeFratus/Aumont should be able to pick up the slack.  Also hoping that Contreras can still play.

  7. Phillies_Aces35 4 years ago

    I expect Hunter Pence and Cole Hamels to get contract extensions some time before January 1st. Cole Hamels should get a Justin Verlander type contract while Hunter Pence, I could see getting a 3-4 year deal… what price? I have no idea.

    I could see Kyle Kendrick getting non tendered to save money but I don’t know if the Phillies want to sacrafice the depth he gives them.

    I see the savings going to:
    Madson/Papelbon/Bell (one of the three or maybe someone else)
    A contract for Lidge (Maybe 1 year for $2-3 million?)
    Veteran Lefthanded Outfielder (in case Brown fails).
    Ross Gload
    A new contract with Roy Oswalt.
    A new contract for Rollins

    I think the Phillies go over the luxury tax for the first time this year.

    • 700Level 4 years ago

      Madson is their best option and here’s why:  He’s could’ve squeezed more money out of the Phillies already, but he told Boras he’d be willing to take less to stay with the Phillies.  If the Phils offer him a fair deal he’ll take it.  The others (Papelbon, etc) will be looking to get every last dime they can.
      Furthermore, he’s been with the Phils his whole career.  He’s comfortable in Philly.  He’s a known quality to the Phils both as a player and as a person.  Bring someone else in and you can’t be really sure if they’ll perform up to their usual standards.  It’s happened before.

      • ejr 4 years ago

        good thoughts here. Madson’s comfort in the NL is important, but it may also backfire — the other teams may become more and more comfortable with him. While he’s got GREAT pitches, he might not replicate his numbers over the course of a 3 year deal. it’s always tough with relievers. I would take the risk, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the Phillies brought someone else in.

      • I don’t know, Heath Bell seems like a nice guy, I could see him fitting in with the Phils really well.  I think Papelbon and Madson will squeeze which the Phillies can’t do.

    • moondog45 4 years ago

      Not ever going to give Lidge $2-3 million. Minimum with incentives at best. Lot of time on DL and no fastball. Better off with young relievers.

    • They are not going to resign Ross Gload. His time in Philadelphia is over.

  8. Madson has put together a terrific year yet gets no love from the fans or media. He should be retained. Lidge on the other hand is getting it done with smoke and mirrors right now.. Sooner or later his lack of a major league fastball will doom him and I say let him go at season’s end. The Phillies need one more quality arm for the pen for next year and I have not been impressed with the guys from the minors that got called up in September to be that guy. I look for one new veteran arm that can pitch in the 8th and throw hard.. Contreras coming back from arm surgery cant be counted on to be that guy right now either.  Regarding Rollins, thats a tough call.. While he’s been a defensive marvel during his career, you have to be concerned with his continual leg injuries and poor on base % as a lead off hitter.  I’m not opposed to keeping Jimmy but I think the Phillies need a new lead off hitter.  The right move could be currently on the team..Chase Utley may be that guy.. Utley takes pitches and works his share of walks. He also is the best baserunner on the Phillies. Utley’s lack of power this year has made him a poor choice as a #3 hitter and his good OBP might be a boost at leadoff,  to a team that too often makes that first out with the leadoff hitter.

  9. Jesse Hoff 4 years ago

    Hmm doesn’t anyone think that replacing rollins madson and adding a catcher is going to cost the phils around 23 million, putting them back in the territory of 165 million before filling out their bench? And thats assuming they’re really about to pony up another 165 mil. Attendence was not able to go up much compared to last year and ticket prices didn’t climb more than few percent. In 2010, forbes had them pulling down 8 million in operating profits, but that was with payroll at 150. Can payroll really exceed 170? doubtful. Particularly if they don’t make a deep run look for this team to start shedding salary

  10. lisainnj 4 years ago

    If the Phillies exercise Oswalt’s option next year, his salary is $16M.

Leave a Reply