Monday, July 29, 2013

Trade Deadline & 2014 "Hot Stove" Preview

DEADLINE UPDATE (8:47 am Wednesday): As more rumors fly, lefty ace Cliff Lee may actually be traded today. I'd say wait until July of 2014 when the Phils' top two pitching prospects Morgan & Biddle are ready for a call-up.

Also, Chase Utley may be resigned on a two-year deal with an opt. for 2016, thus taking him off the trade block.

UPDATE (12:56 pm Tuesday): Phillies call-up 3B Cody Asche from AAA after hitting .295 this year and .287 in the minors (equivalent of two full seasons). As speculated by many beat writers, this likely means that Michael Young will be traded shortly. If that happens by 4 PM on the 31st, Asche is expected to platoon with Kevin Frandsen for the rest of 2013.

ORIGINAL ARTICLE: Well, with the team out of contention in 2013 after loosing eight straight games (their worst loosing streak since Sept. 2011 & worst road trip since 1995), it is time to look ahead to 2014.

The theme for next season: a lot of needs but tremendous payroll flexibility.

The Phillies have six players under contract ($99MM total), four Arbitration-Eligible players ($14MM expected salary), and will have at least seven (maybe 12) players making the ML Minimum ($3.6MM - three in the bullpen, Brown, Kratz, a 5th starter, & Asche at 3B (he'll make ~$490k)). Coaches & front office staff account for about $10-13MM toward the luxury tax calculation. So far, that's ~$130MM for 17 players.

  • Papelbon: $12.5MM
  • Adams: $6MM
  • Hamels: $22.5MM
  • Lee: $24MM
  • Howard: $23MM
  • Rollins: $11MM
Arbitration-Eligible Players (2013 Salary):
  • Kendrick: $4.5MM
  • Bastardo:  $1.4MM
  • Revere & Mayberry: $516k each
With the luxury tax threshold rising to $189MM... and $30MM spent on re-signing Chooch, Halladay & Utley on 1-or-2-year deals... the team has ~$35MM remaining to spend in free agency for five players: a starting pitcher (if Lee is traded), some bench players (an OF and a 3B to platoon w/ Asche are our biggest yet cheapest needs), and a lefty in the bullpen.

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