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.
- First time: Wilson Valdez
- Second time: Kyle Kendrick, Ben Francisco, Pete Orr
- Third time: Hunter Pence
- Fourth time: Cole Hamels
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.