SBD/December 11, 2013/Franchises

Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Says Team Is Not Planning To Increase Payroll In '14

The Phillies finished the '13 season with roughly $165M in payroll, and GM Ruben Amaro Jr. expects his payroll "to remain at the same level" next season, according to Matt Gelb of the PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER. Amaro said, "We should be contending with this kind of payroll, at $165 or $170 million, wherever it shakes out to be. I think we have some flexibility to add. A lot of it depends on what makes sense for us." Gelb reports the Phillies have committed about $140M to "12 players under contract." Their four arbitration players "should add another $12 million in salary." The rest of the roster "could be filled by players making near the league minimum of $500,000." That leaves approximately $10-15M in '14 salary "to be spent on improving the starting rotation" (PHILLY.com, 12/10). In Pennsylvania, Dennis Deitch notes the Phillies' "best chance of freeing up more money in the budget would be to deal" P Jonathan Papelbon, who stands to earn $13M in '14. However, the team "almost certainly would have to eat half" of the $26M he is still owed. Amaro indicated that he "thought he could get the OK to send money in a trade to improve the team" (POTTSTOWN MERCURY, 12/11).

IS IT ALWAYS SUNNY IN PHILADELPHIA? NJ.com's Eliot Shorr-Parks wrote as the Phillies "try to rebound from their worst season since 1997, it's fair to ask if Philadelphia is still a premier destination for players." Money is "a big factor for players, and the Phillies certainly hand that out." But when the money "is the same from multiple teams -- which it normally is for premier free agents -- they usually go with the team that has stability and direction, a place they can trust, and a place they can win" (NJ.com, 12/10).
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