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Amaro: It's about spending money wisely

The Phillies are avoiding big ticket free agents this winter, despite having some flexibility with the payroll. According to Amaro, it's about spending the money wisely, not just spending money.

After factoring in the Phillies three biggest free agent signings this winter, Carlos Ruiz, Marlon Byrd and Roberto Hernandez,  and projecting what the arbitration-eligible players will likely make in 2014, the Opening Day payroll for the Phillies this season isn't expected to be too different from the Opening Day payroll last season.

And that's despite the fact that every major league team got an additional $24 million this winter as part of the league's new national TV deal. And despite the fact that the Phillies are going to sign their own, massive, local TV deal in the near future.

And despite the fact that the projected payroll - somewhere in the neighborhood of $170 million - is well below the $189 million luxury tax threshold.

So, then, why aren't the Phillies in the market for the Carlos Beltrans, Shin-Soo Choos, Curtis Grandersons and Matt Garzas of the free agent world?

"It's about spending the money wisely, and trying to spend it intelligently," general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said on Wednesday. "Why would you spend money that you think is going to be money not well spent? That's the important part. With the way the market is set up right now, I'm not real comfortable with going the extra mile with some of the guys that are out there still that may improve us a little bit, but in the long run may be detrimental to us."

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