As we all wait for the managerial shoe to drop, let's take a look ahead at the Phillies' 2020 payroll commitments and who comes off the books this offseason:
Bryce Harper: 12 years, $300 million
Aaron Nola: 4 years, $55M
Jean Segura: 3 years, $45.55M
Andrew McCutchen: 2 years, $40M
Odubel Herrera: 2 years, $20.2M
Jake Arrieta: 1 year, $20M
Scott Kingery: 4 years, $19.5M
David Robertson: 1 year, $13M
Keep in mind that some Phillies have back-loaded deals. McCutchen made only $10 million of his $50 million deal in 2019. Herrera's cost rises each of the next two seasons. Nola's rises each of the next three.
In total, these eight players are set to earn $108 million combined in 2020. For luxury tax purposes — which accounts for the annual value of the contract rather than the yearly allocations — the number for those eight players is $114 million.
J.T. Realmuto's extension
Realmuto earned $5.9 million in 2019. Next season is his final year of arbitration eligibility. If they go to arbitration, Realmuto will earn more than $10 million. But the Phillies are prioritizing an extension, one that will likely reach nine figures.
Assuming Realmuto's extension averages $20 million per year, the Phillies' luxury tax number would be around $134 million before accounting for raises to their young players under team control.
Players due raises
Rhys Hoskins is not arbitration-eligible until after the 2020 season. He made $575,000 last season and will likely see a raise to the $1 million range.
This will be the first arbitration year for Zach Eflin, Andrew Knapp and Edubray Ramos. Eflin is the most likely of the three to be back.
It is the second arbitration year for Adam Morgan, Hector Neris and Vince Velasquez. Neris and Morgan will likely be back, while Velasquez is a toss-up.
It will be the third arbitration year for Realmuto, Maikel Franco and Jose Alvarez. Realmuto and Alvarez are currently set for free agency after the 2020 season.
Franco and Cesar Hernandez were Super Two players so both have four years of arbitration rather than three. This offseason will be Hernandez's fourth and final year of arbitration eligibility. He earned $7.75M in 2019. The number will likely rise to $9.5-10M in 2020. Hernandez is not worth $10 million. It is more likely the Phillies move on from him and start Scott Kingery at second base than pay Hernandez eight figures in 2020.
Still making close to league minimum
The Phillies' pre-arbitration players in 2020 are Hoskins, Adam Haseley, Ranger Suarez, Nick Pivetta, Nick Williams, Roman Quinn, Seranthony Dominguez, Victor Arano, Cole Irvin, Austin Davis, Enyel De Los Santos and Edgar Garcia, among a few others on the 40-man roster who haven't yet made it to the majors.
Pivetta and Williams could be gone. Both need changes of scenery.
Off the books
Contracts are set to expire for Tommy Hunter, Pat Neshek, Juan Nicasio, Corey Dickerson, Brad Miller, Drew Smyly, Nick Vincent, Mike Morin, Blake Parker, Sean Rodriguez, Phil Gosselin, Logan Morrison and Jose Pirela.
There is an $8 million team option on Jason Vargas' contract that can be bought out for $2 million. The Phils seem likely to buy him out because they need to drastically improve the rotation and already have Eflin and Arrieta slotted into the back of it.
Jay Bruce is still under contract in 2020 but the Phillies are paying less than $2 million of it, with the Mariners paying the rest.
There is also an option on Jared Hughes' contract, but he certainly didn't pitch well enough to entice the Phils to bring him back for $3 million.
How far under the tax?
After adding up the salaries of the players still under contract, the players due raises and assuming Realmuto gets $20M per year, the Phillies' luxury tax number for 2020 would be right around $150 million before they make a single offseason signing or trade. The tax threshold for 2020 is $208 million. The tax for a team exceeding it for the first time is 20 percent for every dollar it goes over.
The Phillies have never exceeded the threshold but may have to in order to put together a team capable of competing with the Braves and Nationals next season. If push comes to shove, John Middleton and the Phillies' ownership group may do it.
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