With Jimmy Rollins finally under contract for 2012 and beyond, the Phillies have a better idea of their payroll for the upcoming season. As noted in Sunday's Inquirer, it's wholly possible the Phillies have a lower payroll in 2012 than 2011, but the numbers will be similar.
The Phillies finished 2011 with approximately $176 million in payroll. They currently have guaranteed $135 million to 16 players in 2012. That figure will rise with raises through arbitration to Cole Hamels, Hunter Pence, Kyle Kendrick and Wilson Valdez.
The below table projects their salaries.
The rest of the roster will likely be filled by pre-arbitration players. The major-league minimum will be $480,000 in 2012. Figure Antonio Bastardo, Vance Worley, John Mayberry Jr., Mike Stutes and any other young relievers will each earn around that.
So that could leave the payroll shy of $170 million to begin 2012. Why is that important? It certainly permits flexibility come July when Ruben Amaro Jr. could look to make a midseason trade if necessary.
The usual disclaimer: A roster on opening day is not always set in stone. Remember, Ben Francisco was the Phillies' starting right fielder last April.
Another calculation with Rollins aboard: The Phillies have guaranteed $105.4 million to seven players for 2013. In 2014, four players (Howard, Lee, Papelbon, Rollins) are guaranteed $74 million.
With Rollins out of the way, Amaro could now turn to an extension for Hamels, who is a free agent after 2012.