Updated 2012 Phillies Roster and Payroll Projections

Posted by Pat Gallen, Wed, December 21, 2011 09:05 AM | Comments: 58
Analysis, News, Opinion, Posts

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 following the Jimmy Rollins signing on Saturday. 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
-Wilson Valdez: $950K
-Brian Schndeider: 800K
-Michael Martinez: $480K

$62.378MM (10 players)


-Shane Victorino: $9.5MM
-Hunter Pence: $10.5MM
-Laynce Nix: $1.15MM
-John Mayberry Jr.: $480K

$21.63MM (4 players)

Starting Pitching:

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

$67.48MM (5 players)

Relief Pitching:

-Jonathan Papelbon: $11MM
-Kyle Kendrick: $3.8MM
-Jose Contreras: $2.5MM
-Dontrelle Willis: $1MM
-David Herndon: $575K
-Antonio Bastardo: $575K
-Michael Stutes: $480K

$19.93MM (7 players)

Buyout Payments:

-Roy Oswalt: $2MM
-Brad Lidge: $1.5MM

Estimated Total: $174.92 million (25 players, two buyouts)

Luxury Tax: $178 million (in 2012)


The Phillies are getting closer to the luxury tax but with the signing of Jimmy Rollins and arbitration forthcoming for Kyle Kendrick and Wilson Valdez, it appears they have a full 25-man roster ready to go at this time. Changes could be made, however, as they only have four true outfielders at this time. Michael Martinez would likely be the odd man out if they decide to bring in another outfielder, which is still a possibility.

With this 25-man crew the Phillies look to be somewhere in the $175 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.

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.

Are there any changes you would make to this roster?

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

Avatar of Pat Gallen

About Pat Gallen

Pat Gallen has written 1678 articles on Phillies Nation.

Pat is Editor-in-Chief of Phillies Nation. He also covers the Phils for 97.5 FM in Philly.

  • Posts: 0 Geoff

    Its absolutely mad why they tendered Valdez and Kendrick. They have other players who can fill those depth roles. There was no need to do that. Waste of nearly 5 million.

    • Posts: 0 Geoff

      It would also be nice to clear some of Blanton’s salary, even if they have to pay some of it. You can get 5th starters for cheaper than that.

      • Posts: 1 BRyland

        Avatar of BRyland

        I totally agree, Blanton needs to go. He hasn’t done anything except get hurt and get paid. Send him off to say, Toronto, who’s looking for a starter.

      • Posts: 0 Don M

        What kind of a return would you get for trading Blanton ??… Teams would make you take at least $8 of his salary … so basically for $2.5 M wouldn’t you rather have a guy that’s been there/done that against MLB opponents .. and can pitch in the rotation or the pen – whatever is needed

    • Posts: 0 JEFF

      Philly fans this will be your last year to be elite. Hammels, Blanton, Victorino, Ruiz, & Polonco will all be free agents. It will be hard to keep them as they will be asking for a raise and the new CBA will prevent them . Not only that but most of them are old. No farm system because of halladay , lee, and pence. Rollens is decling & aging, Howard my never be the same after his injury. GOOD RIDDANCE , nothing but down hill

      • Posts: 0 George

        Jeff–the Phils don’t have a Hammels, Polonco, or a Rollens on their roster, and I’m pretty sure they don’t have any players who don’t capitalize their last names. As for “Polonco,” if they actually had a player with that name, they probably wouldn’t want him back. Same goes for Blanton.

        I guess trolls don’t learn much by living under bridges.

  • Posts: 0 Larch Sarum

    A couple errors here:

    Because of the 5MM player option for year four, Rollins’ number against the total is 9.5MM and not 11 in 2012.

    Also, I believe the luxury tax penalty increased to 40 percent with the new CBA.

    • Posts: 1435 Pat Gallen

      Avatar of Pat Gallen

      I haven’t heard anything about the first year being $9.5 million. All of those options can be declined and there is no buyout from what I understand. So I’ll keep it until I hear otherwise.

      You might be right about the luxury tax being a 40% penalty. I may have written that before the change and then never switched it to the new figure. Either way, it can be steep.

      • Posts: 0 psujoe

        Pat, As was pointed out on this Blog, to calculate the luxury tax you have to look at average salary, not current year salary.
        I have attached a spreadsheet using your color coding scheme, Blue for confirmed, Red for best guess. A few quick notes:

        Oswalt and Lidge’s buyouts don’t count against the luxury tax this year. As the first option buyout they would have been added to their previous contract as a “bonus”.

        Jimmy’s fourth yeat option doesn’t count at all yet. It will only count when it vests since it’s not “gaurenteed” money.

        I have no idea what the 1/30 of benefits number is, but I know it counts. Maybe you could find out through your contacts?


    • Posts: 1435 Pat Gallen

      Avatar of Pat Gallen

      From MLB: The tax will decrease to 17.5 percent of the actual dollars spent for clubs exceeding the threshold for the first time, but the repeaters tax will increase to 50 percent of that same figure for clubs that have done it at least four consecutive times.

  • Posts: 0 schmenkman

    Isn’t the luxury tax based on the AAV of contracts?

    That’s what I got from this by Eric Seidman: http://www.brotherlyglove.com/2011/05/31/the-phillies-and-the-luxury-tax/

    I believe the AAV for Lee’s contract is $19.5 ($97/5).

    Am I interepreting that right?

  • Posts: 1435 Pat Gallen

    Avatar of Pat Gallen

    By the way, at the bottom of the post above, I added a link to the new CBA rules.

    Here it is to make it easier: http://philliesnation.com/mlb-luxury-tax-breakdown-in-new-cba/

    • Posts: 0 schmenkman

      So I take it it’s 19.5 for Lee instead of 21.5, and 23.0 instead of 20.0 for Howard (115/5), but would we have to also estimate all the other costs included in payroll?

      “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.”

      • Posts: 1435 Pat Gallen

        Avatar of Pat Gallen

        Yeah, but without getting too technical it works just to go by the salaries for this year to be safe. It’s roundabout and its close.

      • Posts: 0 psujoe

        You have to add in the buyout of his first option of 12.5 mil. His hit towards the Luxury tax is $24 million.

  • Avatar of The Original Chuck P

    I’m ok with Blanton… if you’re going to trade him for nothing (which is what you’d get in return) and pay a portion of his salary (likely more than half), then I think you’re better off keeping him than finding a stop-gap who will almost surely be no better. I hate the term innings eater but that’s what he is in the fifth spot… he’s going to give you innings and be fairly consistent, when healthy.

    Not sure what they’re doing with Kyle Kendrick… on one hand, he’s been pretty good in terms of overall worth as a spot starter/long reliever but on the other hand, he’s a guy without a defined role making three and a half million. I’d rather see them allocate that money towards a Hamels extension.

    You all know that I’m sort of a homer so you can take this with a grain of salt but I think that our team is much better on paper this year than it was last year. I think that we’re better off with a full year of Pence and a much deeper bench than we were with oft-injured Oswalt as our fourth starter. Not having Howard will hurt – the team will need to learn how to manufacture runs. That could make them stronger… just have to be patient with Howard when he returns because he is a difference maker.

  • Posts: 0 Don M

    I think its a great thing to have 3 guys battle for the 4th-5th spots ….Worley, Kendrick, Blanton (though CNNSI yesterday had the Phillies as the favorite to get Javier Vazquez???) ..

    If Blanton can pitch decently as a 4th-5th starter .. maybe he becomes trade bait at the deadline for a team that would need a 3rd-4th starter due to injuries, etc .. I think you could potentially get more for Blanton at the deadline than you can right now with him coming off injury – if he pitches even to his career Avgs in the first half ..

    you can never have too much pitching though, and since you’re paying him anyway .. there is no point in trading Blanton for nothing, or releasing him as i’ve seen some people say on here before

  • Posts: 0 Dave P

    It hurts me to see how much blanton is getting paid. I would rather see Kendrick is spot 5 than Blanton, but then you have Blanton in the bullpen, making almost as much as papelbon…guh. No matter where he is, Blanton will be overpaid.

    • Posts: 0 schmenkman

      Not necessarily. A season like his 2009 (12-8, 4.05 in 195 IP) for $10.5 would not be a huge overpay and could possible be about fair.

  • Posts: 0 TheDipsy

    Omar Vizquel would be nice.

    The Dipsy

    • Posts: 0 schmenkman

      (I’ll assume you’re serious) If your objective is to have someone who played at the same time as Schmidt also play with Galvis, that would certainly be an interesting future trivia question.

      But he turns 45 in April, he had a .592 OPS in 2011, and his defense appears to have deteriorated the past two years.

  • Posts: 0 Brian

    If Martinez is on the opening day roster, I will FLIP out

  • Posts: 2990 Chuck A.

    Avatar of Chuck A.

    I will simply pass on Omar Vizquel.

  • Posts: 0 George

    It’s a good thing some of your projections are merely that. I doubt that Kendrick will approach $3.8 million, for instance (another site guesses $3.2 mil). It’s also reasonable to think that Herndon won’t get $5.75, and that Martinez will be in AAA. Other things to note are that Willis only gets $1 million if his incentives are reached. These are all probably small differences, but they might mean that Amaro will have more flexibility than we think to add to the roster.

    • Posts: 0 schmenkman

      The decimal point for Herndon needs to be one to the left. :)

      • Posts: 0 George

        Actually, the way I worded it he’d be getting five dollars and seventy-five cents, because I didn’t type “million” after my figures. So maybe the decimal point needs to be moved two spaces right, then followed by three zeros or maybe just a big “K.” I’ll leave that up to you because I’d probably botch it again.

  • Posts: 5190 Lefty

    Avatar of Lefty

    Thank you Pat-

    I think you may have 10 infielders instead of 9, so it will give them some relief to take either Valdez or Martinez out of the equation.

  • Posts: 0 Geoff

    With what Washington is reportedly offering to spearhead a package for Gio Gonzalez, we should definitely do better than that and talent hog, go ahead and bring Gonzalez in. That provides cover for the potential of a failure to re-sign Hamels as well as when we unceremoniously ship Blanton out of here or let him walk for getting paid and doing damned-all nothing basically for well over a year

  • Posts: 0 Bob in Bucks

    Pat –

    Suggest you count again – by my count you have 26 players instead of 25, Martinez goes. Also, as stated while this may be salaries for 2012 MLB requires inclusion of other benefits and average of salary over contract term so the number is different and in this case I believe it might be higher.

    • Posts: 1435 Pat Gallen

      Avatar of Pat Gallen

      For the sake of it I’ll leave it at 26. We’ll see what happens.

      • Posts: 0 George

        I’d leave it at 26, too. But then again, I’m the idiot who earlier misplaced a decimal point.

        Isn’t it amazing that people can be so picky about what “projections” mean in terms of the luxury tax? It’s as if no one read “Educated guess” and “Estimated,” but are instead debating like lawyers about the vague details of an arcane legal document.

        While one can debate some of your guesses, one should not be debating the tax until the final figures are out, especially when none of your calculations put the Phils all that close to the threshold.

  • Posts: 0 HotelBar

    Am I missing something, or is Domonic Brown missing from this?

    • Posts: 0 George

      It’s been intended that D. Brown spend the year at AAA. therefore, he’s not on the ML roster and doesn’t count in ML salary projections.

  • Posts: 0 G. Truth

    Wow, Blanton is overpaid. Howard is too! Doesnt Howard go to $25M next yr? Ridiculous! At least Amaro Jr is now more patient as demonstrated with the JRoll signing.
    Did someone ask about Dom Brown. He hasnt made the big league team yet I guess. RAJr said he needs another year in the minors dude.

  • Posts: 0 FACE

    I like this team a lot. I would keep it as is. Martinez can play outfield if he needs to.

    • Posts: 0 Jeff Dowder

      It must be hard to find players who can play multiple positions and hit .190. I’ll never understand why the Phillies are so enamored with Martinez – the guy never even hit in the minors. He’s 29 and it’s hard to believe he’ll suddenly figure things out at this point.

      • Posts: 0 Don M

        in his 165 games at AA… Martinez hit .243 (obviously not great) but had 15 steals, and 9 HRs

        if you can get a guy with SOME power, and SOME speed as your 25th man on your bench …. and he happens to be able to play just about every position on the field .. at some point in the long season he’ll be valuable to have on your club (at he was at times last season)

        you make a great point though that it shouldn’t be too hard to find a guy to hit the mendoza line and play multiple positions … its like in the NBA when teams trade for “a shooter” … WTF are the rest of the guys doing playing in the NBA if they can’t knock down open jumpshots??

        Now that they’ve had Mini-Mart on the roster for the full year – they kept him past his RULE 5 demands .. and can store him at AAA if they wish – or have him go back and forth – maybe he’ll be more of the .250-.260 hitter with regular playing time …maybe he’ll come in handy at some point ..

  • Posts: 0 Bob in Bucks

    FACE – MLB restricts teams to 25 active players. If you want to keep Martinez then someone else has to go.

    Geeorge – I see no reason to talk about these numbers unless we get it right. If we only want to talk about other things that is fine but if we want to talk about numbers we may as well get the right ones. As an example simply the Medicare tax adds over 1% to the total – when you are talking about 170 million that means $1.7 million dollars! I won’t be surprised if Phillies exceed the limit and have to pay penalties. If they are willing to do so fine but I suspect, given other published numbers about debt that they are already pushing things. Not like attendance can go up.

    • Posts: 0 George

      Medicare numbers are totally different. They are NOT supposed to be educated guesses or estimates. So shut up about the luxury tax if you want correct numbers. Correct numbers won’t be available until all the contracts are in place, all the arbitration figures are finalized, and all the mid-season replacements are made.

      If you don’t want to talk unless the numbers are right, then you are contradicting yourself by talking about them.

  • Posts: 0 Psujoe

    Not a lawyer and not debating. It took about 15 minutes to put together a spreadsheet that attempted to estimate $$$ towards the luxury tax. Figured if others could fill in some pieces we could get a pretty accurate projection. Oh well.

    • Posts: 0 George

      Wasn’t picking on you in particular. But I doubt that even with a few pieces filled in that anyone would get a “pretty accurate projection.” Pat’s numbers are ESTIMATES and for another, contract language is screwy, written as it is by legal schmucks in what amounts to a foreign language to the general public.

  • Posts: 0 SavannahPhilliesPhan

    I was reading an article which mentioned how excited Jimmy Rollins was to be involved with a little league team who are planning on going to Uganda to teach the children there to play baseball. I didn’t see the original article, so Im really not sure if they didn’t qualify to play in the little league because they didn’t have equipment or enough knowledge of the game etc.
    So if I get this wrong, my apologies. The gist of my rant is that these children took plastic bags and tried rolling them up to make a ball to play the game. Obviously they are very poor and can’t afford proper equipment. This woman is trying to raise funds to send a group of little leaguers from Canada to help teach them to play. Jimmy Rollins generously donated $10,000 dollars toward their fund. These guys are making millions of dollars and I realize that they can’t contribute to everyone but my goodness, you just signed a contract for $33 million dollars….is that the best you can do? Get some of the guys on the team or friends making overinflated salaries to contribute!!! These people have nothing. Get the phillies to donate some used equipment, Im sure they have some laying around.

    As I said, if I am wrong….my apologies.

    • Posts: 0 Don M

      They cannot donate every dollar they make to every charity that asks ….. and I would think that $10,000 dollars goes a long, long way in Uganda and/or to buy baseball equipment for little leaguers …

      Jimmy is well known to be associated with Boys & Girls Clubs, the RBI program, and his own J-Roll’s ACES …. all for underprivalged kids in THIS area

      I don’t see how someone can find any fault with anyone donating ANY amount of money..

      • Posts: 0 SavannahPhilliesPhan

        I do understand that and I don’t want to diminish what they probably give to their own charities. Please watch the video by ESPN called “Baseball in Uganda”….these kids have nothing and we are so priviledged in America! I am speaking of the over inflated salaries these guys earn. I only want to bring to attention that these kids can not even buy a baseball…..and the these guys are making $250 million over 10 years…how long do you think it will take to earn back that $10,000 dollars?

  • Posts: 0 Don M

    Then talk about overinflated salaries … dogging a guy for not giving more money to a charity in Uganda- when he does lots of charitable work here at home isn’t right

    If they can’t buy a baseball, and have no equipment … maybe they should play other sports -like soccer- which has much lower operating costs, and its easier for them to learn the game, and start leagues, etc ..

    Kids in the dominican hit pebbles, bb’s, and bottle caps with broom sticks …. and they “hit their way off the island” if they want to play professionally…

    There are always going to be lots of great causes, etc … but for a Phillies fan to suggest that Jimmy Rollins $10,000 donation to children in Uganda isn’t enough .. “Is that the best you can do??” … that seems odd to me. ….

  • Posts: 0 SavannahPhilliePhan

    I think you are taking what I am saying out of context…..looking at this article and seeing the salaries that these guys earn….not just jimmy rollins but all sports figures….are ridiculous. I get what you are saying and if I gave the impression that I was picking on Jroll then I obviously didn’t explain myself well. You seem to be more concerned about how much the phillies will lose by trading blanton. Are you that unfeeling to suggest that these people should hit pebbles or rolled up plasic bags for balls? This is the country of plenty, and some of these guys are earning $800,000 dollars per home run! I am speaking of the amount of money earned by the sports figures in this country…. they get to write off donations, it is not costing them as much as you think it is…..I am not an accountant but damn….I hope I have the capacity to care for people less fortunate than myself. Sorry I brought up the subject.

    • Posts: 0 Don M

      maybe I just couldn;t grasp what you were trying to say …. reading a Phillies phan say that a player’s $10,000 donation basically wasn’t as generous as it should have been kinda caught me by surprise .. and with all the complaining on here lately – was just another thorn in my side … Ruben Amaro Jr. could donate a kidney tomrw, and i’m pretty sure people would be saying it was stupid and now he’ll miss a few days of negotions or god knows what else

      I agree 100000000000% that all these guys make too much money..

      Merry Christmas to you as well

  • Posts: 0 SavannahPhilliePhan

    Merry Christmas…Phillies Nation!!!

    • Posts: 0 George

      If you’re going to gripe about this, you should also be griping about Bill Gates, the Waltons, (of Walmart fame) and Dick Cheney. Not to mention about a thousand others who make more and donate less than Jimmy Rollins ever will.

      You could, while you’re at it, move to a smaller house and ride the bus or walk to work. I’m sure that your own house is the biggest you can afford and your car is the newest. Your closet probably has clothes in it that you rarely wear, too.

      To say it another way, aren’t we all a bit selfish? Rollins is just an easy target because his finances have become public.

      • Posts: 0 schmenkman

        George, I agree with everything you said, but I thought it was funny that you mentioned Bill Gates in that context. From wikipedia, for what it’s worth:

        “As of 2007, Bill and Melinda Gates were the second-most generous philanthropists in America, having given over $28 billion to charity.[71] They plan to eventually give 95% of their wealth to charity.”

        Could he give even more? I’m sure he could.

  • Posts: 0 Psujoe


    No worries. I figured Pat or someone might be able to get that benefit number(even last years) and we’d have a very good estimate. I just use Cots for general contracts since they’re fairly accurate. Way too tedious to factor in split contracts, etc.

  • Posts: 0 Andrew from Waldorf

    New name
    Donny Duke

    Merry Christmas all

    • Posts: 0 Don M


  • Avatar of The Original Chuck P

    What’s with all the Merry Christmases? You know you’ll all be back on here tomorrow when Rube signs Prince Fielder… kidding, of course.

    Players are overpaid and it has been that way for years but as long as you’re going to the games and buying the jerseys you have no right to complain (unless you’re in favor of socialism). If the players weren’t getting that money, the owners would be and I’m willing to bet that Jimmy Rollins donates more of his time/money to charity causes than the owners, in terms of percentage of salary.

  • Posts: 0 SavannahPhilliesPhan

    You are correct…there was recently an article that Walmart owners are among the richest people in America. I do give generously when I can ….however, I am disabled, retired and I live in a Condo…..any other questions?

  • Posts: 0 EricW

    I tried to project the roster a couple of weeks ago, penciling Rollins or someone else from totally outside the organization at SS.

    I predicted Howard starts on DL, essentially giving myself 26 spots. I slated Bowker for a roster spot, given he has the most games at 1B, aside from Thome. I thought the utility IF spot would be Valdez or Martinez, not both. Otherwise, the position players are pretty much what you have.

    The top four starters on the rotation are obvious, with the final one using Worley or Kendrick. The bullpen will likely include Papelbon, Contreras, Willis, Bastardo, Herndon and Kendrick/Worley. The last spot could be a battle between DeFratus, Schwimmer, Ramirez and Stutes. I also predicted the nonroster pitchers will be Iron Pigs, if anything at all.

    • Posts: 0 bab

      there all a bunch of pre madonnas if u ask me ,when someone like ryan howard is making what he is making and doesnt like singing autographs something is wrong ……………

  • [...] before Christmas, I took a stab at the money Hamels would get and was right on in my roster and payroll projections post over at PhilliesNation.com. This is clearly fair market value for one of the better left-handed [...]

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