What will the Phillies payroll look like in 2011?

Photo of Jayson Werth by Icon SMI

Mere moments after Ryan Howard struck out to finish the Phillies season, the focus quickly shifted to Jayson Werth and the Phillies’ payroll. Will or won’t the Phillies keep Werth? Before even considering re-signing Werth, we need to examine the Phillies payroll.

A quick look at the payroll provides a clear answer.

According to USAToday.com, the Phillies 2010 payroll was $141.928 million. Excluding arbitration increases, the Phillies will immediately add $16.55 million just to maintain players under contract.

Now let’s look at salaries we can drop from the Phillies roster. Here is a list of free agents and option players…

Phillies free agents:

Jayson Werth
Jamie Moyer
Chad Durbin
Contreras
Sweeney

Phillies option player:

JC Romero – $4.5 million club option in 2011 with $250,000 buyout

Let’s assume that the Phillies will allow Jayson Werth and Jamie Moyer walk away. It is unlikely the Phils will exercise JC Romero’s option for 4.5 million next year and will instead buy him out for $250k. And for simplicity sake, let’s say we keep Durbin, Contreras, and Sweeney at the same salary (their salaries shouldn’t change much anyway). This would give the Phillies an extra $17.75 million.

In this scenario in which the Phillies add $16.55 million for increasing contracts and remove $17.75 million, the Phillies would have an extra $1.2 million to add a right fielder, one starter, and one reliever.

Inserting Domonic Brown in right, Kyle Kendrick as the number 5 starter, and grabbing another reliever for $1.2 million brings the Phils to essentially the same payroll next year.

Photo of Jayson Werth by Icon SMI

Therein lies the problem. In order to keep Werth using this scenario, the Phillies would need to ADD $15-17 million to keep him. There is a greater chance that you will see Charlie Manuel playing right field than there is for the Phillies to bump their payroll to $156 million.

The moral of this story is that Ruben Amaro better be pretty darn creative if he wants to keep Werth in Phillies pinstripes.

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