When you have a payroll of $178 million and you finish on the last place in an otherwise mediocre division, you should expect better things to come your way. Philadelphia spent a lot of money on players and their salaries last year, in an attempt of building a team capable of taking the playoffs by storm. Not only they failed to stay in contention for the World Series, but lost the vast majority of games during the regular season and finished in the last place.
As a result, the management has decided to greatly cut down on the salaries of most players, with some of them being already on the transfer list. A quick glance at the Phillies potential payroll in 2015 is available at http://www.csnphilly.com/baseball-philadelphia-phillies/examining-phillies-2015-potential-payroll?p=ya5nbcs&ocid=yahoo. The numbers speak for themselves and it is very likely that this analysis will prove correct, because several players can no longer justify their salaries.
One of the big question marks is whether AJ Burnett will exercise his player option or not, but there is a good chance for him to return to Philadelphia. If this happens, the franchise will pay nearly $13 million and if this happens, the total figure will exceed $140 million. Among those that are guaranteed to remain with the Phillies for at least one season are Ryan Howard, Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels, Chase Utley, Jonathan Papelbon, Jimmy Rollins, Carlos Ruiz and Marlon Byrd.
They are regarded as key players and even though they underperformed last season, the management has no intention to let them go, at least not yet. On the other hand, Kyle Kendrick won almost $8 million last season is now a free agent and the same goes for Mike Adams. Basically almost $15 million were cleared as a result of letting these two players go, which should give Philadelphia a little more flexibility.
They are now contemplating the possibility of making a major signing, but is more likely that they will focus on a couple of less prominent players. It is obvious that the strategy of spending as much money as necessary on the players were widely regarded as the best in their line of work didn’t work well. There is also a chance for Howard and Papelbon to be transferred out this winter or in the months preceding spring training.
As for the players that Philadelphia intends to keep, there are many concerns regarding their fitness, especially the veterans. Cliff Lee has spent a lot of time on the bench and even though he was impressive in the few games played last season, that was not enough to drag the Phillies out of the gutter. There are a couple of free agent candidates that Philadelphia will be acquiring, with the names that come to mind being Jason Hammel, Ryan Vogelsong and Justin Masterson.