Here’s How the Phillies Can Afford to Bring Back JT and Didi
The Phillies offseason has already been highlighted by the “re-assignment” of General Manager Matt Klentak. Phillies’ managing partner John Middleton spoke to the media shortly after expressing concerns (lol) about the amount of money the Philadelphia Phillies will have available to re-sign key free agents such as JT Realmuto and Didi Gregorius.
Off The Books:
The Phillies have a large amount of money coming off of their books this offseason. Jake Arrieta, Didi Gregorius, David Robertson, and JT Realmuto will free up more than $60 million dollars. Jose Alvarez, Phil Gosselin, and Tommy Hunter will also reach free agency, clearning up another $4.8 million dollars for the Phillies.
I’m not a math guy, but that’s over $65 million that was applied to the Phillies’ 2020 luxury tax threshold that won’t be applied in 2021. That’s a ton of wiggle room for the Phillies to accomplish what needs to be accomplished this offseason by signing Realmuto, adding pitching and bringing back Gregorius.
More Money Available:
There’s even more money that can be available for the Phillies this offseason. Hector Neris and David Phelps both have club options that the Phillies can choose decline, although unlikely to happen since the bullpen is in absolute shambles. Although Neris can be inconsistent at times and Phelps, if he decides pitch like he did BEFORE coming to the Phillies, it may be wise to keep them around this year.
The Phillies will also need to figure out what to do with three other players who will be more expensive in 2021. Those players are Vince Velasquez, Heath Hembree, and Adam Morgan.
Velasquez is entering his final year of arbitration will likely make around $4.5 million in 2021 compared to $3.6 million in 2020. Making a case to pay Velasquez after yet again failing to secure a spot in the starting rotation will be tough. I would think this will depend on whether or not the Phillies are confident they can bolster their bullpen without Vinny returning to the team.
Hembree is expected to have a salary increase from $1.6 million to the $2 million dollar range. He was an absolute disaster on the Phillies and there’s no way I would bring him back for another year.
Morgan made $1.6 million and is expected for an increase in salary to around $2.5 million dollars. He’s a no for me as well.
If the Phillies were to non-tender all three pitchers, that would clear another $7.7 million, which would put the total number at a max $73 million dollars, $65 million minimum.
Zach Eflin and Rhys Hoskins salaries will increase with arbitration raises this year too but that should only move the number a few million regardless.
Jay Bruce and Brandon Workman are also free agents, though the Phillies were not on the hook for much of their money. The Phillies only had to pay Bruce $2.75 million of his salary when they got him from Seattle.
As for Brandon Workman? lol. Cya buddy. Best of luck.
Sign JT, Didi, a Starting Pitcher and a Closer:
With all that being said, it is extremely possible that the Phillies could re-sign JT Realmuto, Didi Gregorius, a starting pitcher, and a closer for all around $70 million in annual salaries. The Phillies could sign Realmuto for an AAV around $25 million, Gregorius for $15 million per year, and the rest on pitching.
There are still other factors to consider here however. The snake himself John Middleton smugly told reporters he would have to wait to see revenue losses and the plans to have fans at CBP in the 2021 before making any decisions.
According to Middleton, it looks like he thinks that the city of Philadelphia and Phillies fans in general should be on the hook for almost a decade of terrible personnel decisions and money spending. None of this should be corrected at his expense?
We’ll keep a close eye on the Phillies all offseason long and have some killer content in the works surrounding the team. Ring that bell, baby.
Mandatory Credit: PhillyVoice