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)
- First time: Antonio Bastardo, David Herndon
- Second time: Hector Luna
- Third time: Pete Orr
- Fourth time: Hunter Pence
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.