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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8 Comments on "2013 Contract Issues: Philadelphia Phillies"

3 years 4 months ago

Keeping Chooch for 5 million next season is the biggest bargain in baseball

3 years 4 months ago

Evan Longoria who’s being paid in food stamps says hi.

Clayton Wilson
3 years 4 months ago

 Here we go again. Saw a Braves fan earlier who said that Chipper’s option for 2012 was the biggest bargain in baseball.

I really hate his nickname. He’s one of the better catchers in baseball, but he’s not gonna keep this up at all. It’ll be a bargain, not anywhere close to being the biggest though.

3 years 4 months ago

It certainly could be worse for the Phillies, notwithstanding the fact that their mnors system isn’t overflowing with talent, but it still isn’t a pretty immediate future. Even if a good number of the players cited above return, it won’t be cheap and the current makeup of the team isn’t where they want to be anyway.  One good thing for the Phils though…..Hamels almost surely drove down the value of his future contract by completely turning off the Nats to playing a role in the bidding and driving up Hamels’ price considerably as the Nats have done with many other players–whether they signed them or not, their offers caused bidders to go substantially higher. Neither Rizzo nor Davey Johnson has any interest in seeing Hamels in the Nats clubhouse. Had Hamels not acted like a punkish buffoon, the Nats SURELY would have intentionally driven up Hamels price to disadvantage the Phillies–and might have even gone after him and traded some of their other very young pitching talent for a 2b or cf.

3 years 4 months ago

 ehh i doubt it. mainly cuz nobody would actually believe we’re legitimately pursuing him…adding another front-line starter is the least of our off-season needs

Clayton Wilson
3 years 4 months ago

Is throwing $127M at Ichiro #1? You guys could seriously use some more right-fielders that can pass for center-fielders in a pinch.

3 years 4 months ago

I read this post very quickly, but are you suggesting that the first year eligible relievers could be non-tendered?  I mean I know Amaro has a disdain for youth, but  it would be an embarrassment if Bastardo were non tendered.  The only pitchers on the Phillies with lower WHIPs and higher K/9’s than Bastardo are Papelbon and Lee.

Also, I know Schneider has done alright so far this year, I think bringing him back would be a mistake.  He does not hit much anymore, and he does not throw out enough runners like he used to when he was probably one of the best in the game.  

Why has Pence’s name not been brought up in trade?  If the Phillies are sellers at the deadline, wouldn’t it make more sense to trade a guy with another year of control versus a guy like Victorino who would be a rental?  Remember there is no more draft compensation for rentals, and because of that, the returns will probably be much lower going forward.  Pence could be traded, the receiving team could get comp’d when he doesn’t sign, and thus the Phils get more value in return.

3 years 4 months ago

As crappy as it sounds, the Phillies need to try to sign Hamels to an extension then go to Arte Moreno and say: “We’ll give you Hamels for Trumbo, Ernesto Fieri and Ervin Santana.