2013 Contract Issues: Philadelphia Phillies

The Phillies are next in MLBTR’s 2013 Contract Issues series:

Eligible For Free Agency (7)

  • Cole Hamels - Hamels might be the offseason's most coveted free agent. He'll turn down the Phillies' qualifying offer after the season in search of a multiyear deal. If the Phillies are willing to commit six or seven years at $20MM or more per season, they'll be in the running for Hamels. If not, he figures to sign elsewhere.
  • Juan Pierre - Pierre won't be available on another minor league deal if he keeps hitting like this. 
  • Chad Qualls - The durable right-hander could figure in to the 2013 bullpen on another one-year deal.
  • Shane Victorino - The center fielder would like to stay in Philadelphia on a five-year deal. The Phillies seem interested in retaining him, but haven't ruled out a midseason trade.
  • Jim Thome - Thome turns 42 in August; at some point in the not-too-distant future his Hall of Fame career figures to come to an end.
  • Joe Blanton - Blanton's off to a tremendous start and could be setting himself up for a guaranteed one or two-year deal this winter.
  • Brian Schneider - Schneider, 35, continues to add value in a reserve role. It wouldn't be surprising to see him re-sign in Philadelphia.

Contract Options (4)

  • Placido Polanco: $5.5MM mutual option with a $1MM buyout. The Phillies don't have a long-term solution at third base and could look to bring Polanco back. However, mutual options are rarely exercised by both sides.
  • Ty Wigginton: $4MM option with a $500K buyout. The Phillies have relied heavily on Wigginton at the infield corners this year, but $4MM may be more than they care to spend on a 34-year-old utility player whose power is waning.
  • Carlos Ruiz: $5MM club option with a $500K buyout. The Phillies will exercise this option, barring something unforeseen.
  • Jose Contreras: $2.5MM club option with a $500K buyout. I don't expect the Phillies to exercise the 40-year-old's option this offseason.

Arbitration Eligible (5)

Few arbitration eligible players will earn more than Pence in 2013. The right fielder can expect a raise to $13-14MM with a typical season, so the Phillies will be spending more on one player than some teams do on their entire arbitration classes. Beyond Pence, there's a pair of first-time eligible relievers and two infielders who could very well be non-tendered.

2013 Payroll Obligation

The Phillies, who are spending $172MM on this year's team, have committed $112.6MM to next year's payroll. If ownership boosts payroll much more, GM Ruben Amaro Jr. will bump up against the luxury tax at $178MM. Whether the Phillies approach the luxury tax depends largely on where Hamels and Victorino sign.

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