Updated Roster and Payroll Projections – Phillies Nation

Updated Roster and Payroll Projections

The Papelbon deal takes up $11 million for the Phillies in 2012.

Here is a revised look at the Phillies 2012 roster and payroll projections. The numbers for the arbitration players and players lacking service time are subject to change. They are merely educated guesses.

According to the Associated Press, it appears the MLB Luxury Tax will not be going up as it had the previous five seasons. It will remain the same as it was in 2011; $178 million. That doesn’t necessarily mean the Phillies won’t go over it, but in the past they’ve seemingly been reluctant to do it. It had gone up $8 million per season over the last five years of the old CBA. That’s no longer the case.

Included in the new CBA is a provision that will raise the minimum salary from $414,000 to $480,000. That could change some things for the Phillies with guys like Mayberry and Martinez. In the projections below, I’ve made those changes.

Blue: money that the Phillies owe in 2012
Red: educated guess as to how much player will earn in 2012 (arbitration or otherwise)


Ryan Howard: $20MM
Chase Utley: $15.286MM
-Jimmy Rollins: $11MM
Placido Polanco: $6.417MM
Carlos Ruiz: $3.7MM
-Ty Wigginton: $2MM
Jim Thome: $1.25MM
-Brian Schndeider: 800K
Michael Martinez: $480K

$60.933MM (9 players)


Hunter Pence: $10.4MM
Shane Victorino: $9.5MM
-Laynce Nix: $1.15MM
John Mayberry Jr.: $480K

$21.53MM (4 players)

Starting Pitching:

Cliff Lee: $21.5MM
Roy Halladay: $20MM
Cole Hamels: $15MM
Joe Blanton: $10.5MM
Vance Worley: $480K

$66.48MM (5 players)

Relief Pitching:

Jonathan Papelbon: $11MM
Kyle Kendrick: $3.59MM
Jose Contreras: $2.5MM
-Chad Qualls: $1.15MM
-Dontrelle Willis: $1MM
David Herndon: $575K
Antonio Bastardo: $575K
Michael Stutes: $480K

$21.05MM (8 players)


Roy Oswalt: $2MM
Brad Lidge: $1.5MM
-Ty Wigginton: -$2 million from Colorado

Estimated Total: $171.29 million (25 players, two buyouts, Wigginton money from Rockies)

Luxury Tax: $178 million (in 2012)


The Phillies are getting closer to the luxury tax but with the signing of Jimmy Rollins and the settling of contracts for Hamels and Pence, it appears they have a full 25-man roster ready to go at this time. Juan Pierre and Scott Podsednik will duke it out for that final outfield spot, so one of the eight relievers will likely not stay.

With this 25-man crew the Phillies look to be somewhere in the $171 million range, so there isn’t much room to maneuver with the MLB luxury tax just ahead.

UPDATE: Here is a better breakdown of the new luxury tax rules in the new MLB CBA.

NOTE: According to USA Today’s salary database, the Phillies spent a shade under $173 million in 2011, Cot’s Contracts says the Phillies spent $165 million.

*(Cot’s Contracts, USA Today, and Baseball-reference, as well as a myriad of articles, were used in this payroll rundown)

Click to comment


  1. Fuhs

    February 10, 2012 at 9:32 am

    Again, adding up 2012 payrolls won’t give a good luxury tax picture. Its all about the Average Annual Value. So up Papelbon to 12.5M, drop Lee to 20M, Utley to around 12, and on, and on, and on…

  2. Pat Gallen

    February 10, 2012 at 10:05 am

    Dudes, it’s close enough. So according to Gelb, add about $3 million to it and you have the number.

  3. George

    February 10, 2012 at 10:18 am

    Kendrick’s pay has been established, but there’s not enough difference from your projection to worry about. I’m just surprised that you didn’t put the exact figure in blue.

    Also, although one reliever will probably not make the cut (The Phils don’t need eight guys in the pen) according to Jason Stark, Amaro is trying to trade Blanton to clear more salary space. Even if he can’t get much in return, or has to eat some of Joe’s pay, it will perhaps provide a little more breathing room.

  4. P.J.

    February 10, 2012 at 11:11 am

    Isn’t Blanton only making $8.5M this year and not $10.5M as you have above? Cots and B-R both show 8.5M. Is there something where he met some criteria that made it bump up?

    • Pat Gallen

      February 10, 2012 at 11:25 am

      Cot’s says $10.5. He had a $6 million bonus included in 2010. So he was paid $7 million in the first year ($1MM base, too). So it must have to do with how the breakdown is in terms of the CBA. Take a look here. Cots has $3M, $10.5M, $10.5M.


      • P.J.

        February 10, 2012 at 12:11 pm

        There must be some wacky thing, but they should have that on the website, too. Because the Cot’s website says:

        Joe Blanton rhp
        3 years/$24M (2010-12)

        3 years/$24M (2010-12)
        signed extension with Philadelphia 1/21/10 (avoided arbitration, $10.25M-$7.5M)
        $6M signing bonus (paid between 6/10 and 10/10)
        10:$1M, 11:$8.5M, 12:$8.5M
        2011 and 2012 salaries increase by $0.25M with 200 IP in the previous season
        performance bonuses: $0.1M for Cy Young ($75,000 for second in vote, $25,000 for third). $0.1M for WS MVP. $50,000 each for All Star, LCS MVP. $25,000 each for Gold Glove, Silver Slugger


        Nothing there adds to 10.5, unless something changed with the signing bonus. Not debating the sheet you have, too, but Cot’s should probably get things on par! This is the first time I had seen anyone mention Blanton making 10.5, which is why I was curious!

        Thanks for the correction and maybe Cot’s will change things somewhere.

  5. Don M

    February 10, 2012 at 11:32 am

    How does it effect the Lux Tax when guys signed to minor league deals are brought-up (for injury or other) … Like if Pierre starts the season on the MLB roster …. and later Podsednik is added to the MLB roster -does every transaction that touches the 25-man roster count directly towards payroll ..

    And if only the Average Annual Value of contracts counts towards the Luxury Tax – why are teams front-loading/back-loading deals (just to give the organization more in-house cash at that time?)

  6. DroppedStrikeThree

    February 10, 2012 at 12:10 pm

    I recall reading that insurance costs count against the luxury tax number as well so isn’t that already almost another $10M added to the top? What about performance bonuses tied to contracts (Cy Young votes, AS Games, MVPs, etc)? It seems like a lot of these guys have very attainable bonuses and the $.1M’s start to add up pretty quickly!

  7. Patti Piersol

    February 10, 2012 at 12:19 pm

    Carlos is getting ripped off, he is definitely worth more that what he is getting!!

  8. George

    February 10, 2012 at 12:39 pm


    These are projections and not the final figures. There’s no way to really predict which bonuses will be attained yet, and although some of them seem attainable, DFAs and trades also happen, some of which can change the budget picture even more drastically than a Cy Young bonus. Injuries also happen, often preventing some of these bonuses.

    Patti Piersol:

    I agree. Carlos Ruiz is probably the most underpaid catcher in the league.

    Pat Gallen:

    I see you’ve updated the Kendrick pay. I didn’t think you’d let that one go by.

  9. Lefty

    February 10, 2012 at 12:49 pm

    This is from the updated link that Pat provided.

    “Payrolls are for 40-man rosters and include averages of multiyear contracts; health and pension benefits; clubs medical costs; insurance; workman’s compensation, payroll, unemployment and Social Security taxes; spring training allowances; meal and tip money; All-Star game expenses; travel and moving expenses; postseason pay; and college scholarships.”

    Under these circumstances the Phillies are likely already well over the threshold. That’s 15 more players being paid minor league contracts right? I suppose there is no rule requiring that you carry all 40 players on the 40 man, you could cut costs by carrying 38. But In that case you’d be exposing a couple of players.

  10. Lefty

    February 10, 2012 at 12:58 pm

    @Patti Piersol, I disagree that Ruiz is getting ripped off.

    Yadier Molina, one of the best catchers in the game, signed for 4yrs./ 15.5 in 2008. I don’t think Chooch is being vastly underpaid. He’s my favorite Phillie, but 3/8.85 isn’t too bad in comparison with Molina. It’s about 900,000 AAV less.

    • George

      February 11, 2012 at 5:03 pm

      Did it ever occur to you that Molina is underpaid, too?

      And if Molina is “one of the best,” it could be argued that Ruiz is also one of the best and should be paid just as much.

      Catcher is one of the most important positions on the field, and it’s certainly the most strenuous. I’ve never figured out why so many of them are paid as little as a lot of 4th outfielders and middle relievers.

      • Lefty

        February 11, 2012 at 6:23 pm

        Honestly, no I didn’t think of that. I guess Mauer makes a lot more.

        Patti didn’t say he was being underpaid though, she said he was being “ripped off” – I don’t think that’s the case. I also don’t think he’s as good as Y. Molina, but he’s still my favorite current Phillie and has been for quite a while.

    • George

      February 12, 2012 at 8:55 am

      I read today that Molina had a $7 million option for 2012 which was picked up by the Cards. So Ruiz is absolutely underpaid by a large margin. Molina’s good, but he’s not TWIC as good as Carlos.

      • Lefty

        February 12, 2012 at 9:55 am

        Yeah I just read about that too, might extend him to make it 10m. Hopefully when the Phils get back under the L.T. threshold they will take proper measures to extend him at a more reasonable salary. (Assuming health, which is tough to do with catchers) Presently his team option for his final year, 2103 is only 5m.

        This is one reason why the Papelbon contract is so irksome to me. If they had just given him a very reasonable 2/24, then when guys like Ruiz are ready there would be available funding. Fangraphs just declared Pap this winter’s worst signing. I disagree, I think it’s the Pujols signing, but that’s a different conversation too.

        Back on course-
        I believe there are many “loopholes” or ways for them to get back under the L.T. Threshold. Most of which i probably know nothing about, but I learned a couple tricks this week.
        Obviously they can make trades involving cash, like the Pence deal.
        and this one, I just learned about-
        They can skirt the 40 man, by only carrying 37-38 That means they have to expose a few to waivers, but how many Scott Posednik, Pete Orr type of players do you really need. I also found out that the accounting for L.T. threshold purposes does not happen until the end of the season, there would appear to be plenty of time to work on it.

        My only remaining question, and I’m still searching for an answer, is how can they structure an extension for Cole without affecting this year? Because I’m convinced someone will make him a gargantuan offer if he reaches FA. (Red Sox-Yankees, Angels, Nationals, Dodgers, Marlins etc,)

  11. Chuck A.

    February 10, 2012 at 2:22 pm

    Is anyone else getting tired of the offseason and ready for Spring Training to start already?

    • Lefty

      February 10, 2012 at 2:37 pm

      Yes. Maybe not quite as much this year because the weather hasn’t been too bad, but in general, I’m in favor of no offseason at all.

      You get two weeks vacation for the December holidays boys, enjoy it and stay in shape!

      • Grismundo

        February 11, 2012 at 5:34 am

        They took off the Arcade and Pavilion (206-211) seats off of the theme night promotion games. I’m pissed. You can buy them all now if you type in the codes.. One of them is the Friday night game against the Rays.

  12. psujoe

    February 11, 2012 at 10:10 am

    I have a running spreadsheet similar to Matt’s, I plugged in $11 million for benefits. Phils are probably banking on trading Blanton or Contreras not coming back.


    • George

      February 11, 2012 at 10:43 am

      The Phils, according to some sources, are definitely trying to trade Blanto.

      It would be useless to hope that Contreras doesn’t come back. If he’s injured all year, he gets paid anyway.

    • Lefty

      February 11, 2012 at 10:58 am

      Now you have to add in the other 15 players on the 40 man. They appear to be well over the threshold. It’s likely they’ll make moves during the season to get under.

      Also, How did you arrive at the 11m figure, by percentage? I’m not challenging it, I have no idea what it should be. Just curious.

      • psujoe

        February 11, 2012 at 12:18 pm

        In the Matt Gelb article he sites a source saying between 10-11 million for the benefits. I just used the hige figure.

        If Contreras retires I don’t believe his salary counts. However,f he gets paid anyway why retire?

      • Lefty

        February 11, 2012 at 12:54 pm

        Ok thanks, I knew I’d seen that 11m benefits figure before somewhere 🙂

      • George

        February 11, 2012 at 5:26 pm

        Something doesn’t add up. Either the Phils are already over the threshold (which I doubt because the front office doesn’t seem to be very worried and also claim they still have some room) or else the way the tax is calculated has been misinterpreted somewhere along the line.

        If the lux tax is handled as certain sports writers say it is, then I believe more teams than NY, Boston, and the Phils would be over the line or dangerously close to it. The Angels, for instance, have a mighty big load after signing Pujols and Wilson, and Detroit has Fielder’s contract to push their payroll numbers.

      • schmenkman

        February 11, 2012 at 9:33 pm

        Based on Cot’s: http://www.baseballprospectus.com/compensation/cots/

        the Angels must be around $160 million
        – $146 committed, plus $3 for remaining spots, plus $11 for benefits etc.

        Tigers around $142 million:
        -$128 committed, plus $3 for remaining spots, plus $11 for benefits

      • George

        February 12, 2012 at 9:00 am

        Do these figures include the $11 mil for benefits and all those other 40 man spots, or are they listed like the Phils’ numbers?

        I’ve yet to see anything which states that the Phils are over the threshold other than fan speculation.

      • schmenkman

        February 12, 2012 at 10:42 am

        When I said “plus $11m for benefits”, that’s meant to indicate that I am adding 11 million for benefits to the number shown in Cot’s (e.g. 128 m for Detroit).

        I did not include the others on the 40 man, so 15 times 78k would be another $1.2 million.

        So that would make the Angles about 161 and the Tigers 143.

        Also, that’s all based on this year’s salaries, so it would need to be adjusted wherever the AAV differs from the 2012 salary.

      • George

        February 12, 2012 at 11:47 am

        Thanks for the clarification. I do still wonder about all the numbers; the Phils’ claim that they still have room, that $11 million figure,etc. I just can’t help thinking maybe the writers don’t have it right; it’s not an easy process to understand and interpret.

        You mentioned that you based your Tigers and Angels numbers on this year’s salaries, so that really doesn’t completely solve the issue..

        I guess we’ll all know more at the end of the year.

  13. Jay from Leonardtown

    February 11, 2012 at 10:32 am

    Two disparate comments to follow…

    1. If the goal is to get rid of Blanton, would it be better to package him with one of the ‘Pig Pen arms now and get someone to eat most of his salary in return, or wait and see if he gets off to a good start, trade him alone and eat half of the salary. But, if he does get off to a good start, would it be better to keep him around all year, or try to dump him midseason, and use part of the salary savings to see if Oswalt would pull a 2009 Pedro and come back for a partial season on a low salary?

    2. Going by AAV, if the Phillies signed Utley to a (wink, wink, nudge, nudge) 10 year, front-loaded extension for a base of $60 million, that would push his AAV down considerably, right? Perhaps most of the money could be paid in the first 4 years, with a $1 million annual base salary after that, with huge plate appearance bonuses, just in case he’s actually still playing after 4 more years. And if he isn’t, he becomes a $1 mill/year “consultant.”

    • George

      February 11, 2012 at 11:20 am

      I like that “Pig pen” name.

      Blanton won’t be tradeable until he proves his health. Then, perhaps, a package deal would work and Amaro might not have to eat so much salary. I doubt, however, that Oswalt will even be available mid-season. He’ll likely sign with the Cards at a cut rate before he’ll sit out half the season.

      As a consultant, Utley would not be on the roster, and anything he was paid at that time could not be averaged for the luxury tax. Only that front loaded part would count, and that isn’t much less than his current AAV.

      • Chuck A.

        February 11, 2012 at 1:39 pm

        If Blanton is “Pig Pen” then who would play the role of Charlie Brown? Linus? Snoopy?

      • George

        February 11, 2012 at 4:49 pm

        I believe Jay was referring to the Iron Pigs bullpen, not Blanton. He mentioned a trade involving Blanton AND one of the “Pig Pen arms.” A package deal.

        If Blanton truly was Pig Pen, I’d guess that Ryan Howard would be Charlie Brown, because he’s always taking abuse from a Lucy-like fan base.

      • Chuck A.

        February 12, 2012 at 7:57 am

        George, you’re right. I must have misread it. That’s what happens when my brain is not in sync with my eyes! Anyway, I like you’re Ryan Howard-Charlie Brown analogy.

  14. Psujoe

    February 12, 2012 at 9:42 pm

    Most players on the 40 man roster not on the 25 man roster really done make much, at least that’s what I believe as it relates to the Phillies roster. Some of those only make like 60k? I’m guessing as I didn’t do serious research like i did on the MLB roster. Lower the $11 million number to $9-$10 and Phils should be Ok

    • Chris

      February 12, 2012 at 11:11 pm

      Yeah the guys on the 40 man that aren’t major leaguers don’t get paid a minimum. They make peanuts.

      • George

        February 13, 2012 at 9:39 am

        They make peanuts unless they replace an injured or underperforming player. Then they get the ML minimum, which even pro-rated, is quite a bit more. There could also be some non-roster guys who make the team out of ST, such as Pierre or Piniero. It doesn’t matter right now, but could be a problem when final payrolls are figured at the end of the year. I’d still figure on that $11 million figure, just to be cautious.

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