CLEARWATER, Fla. - Turns out winning the World Series isn't priceless after all.
In fact, the Phillies' cost for player salaries projects to $130,844,098 on Opening Day, according to figures compiled by the Daily News. That's up almost $26.7 million from the $104,567,500 that was on the books at the start of last season.
And that came after subtracting the contract of Pat Burrell, who was their highest-paid player in 2008 with a base salary of $14 million.
Beyond that, though, the Phillies kept every significant player who helped them roll to the world championship last October while also adding free-agent Raul Ibanez.
That, plus having 10 players eligible for salary arbitration, helped increase the payroll to another franchise record.
Closer Brad Lidge, who could have been a free agent at the end of the season, signed a 3-year extension in the middle of last season, got the biggest raise. His base salary went up $5.2 million to $11.5 million. He was followed closely by first baseman Ryan Howard, who is now the team's highest-paid player at $15 million after getting a $5 million bump.
Righthander Brett Myers ($3.5 million increase) and second baseman Chase Utley ($2.75 million) got bumps that were scheduled as part of multiyear contracts.
The biggest winner percentagewise was lefthander Cole Hamels. He got an 870 percent increase from $500,000 to $4.35 million as part of his new 3-year contract. Centerfielder Shane Victorino got a 651 percent increase from $480,000 to $3.125 million.
The 2009 total is an estimate based on 25 active players, four players on the disabled list and the final, $3 million installment that the Phillies owe the Chicago White Sox for the Jim Thome trade after the 2005 season.
The bottom line could change slightly depending on who wins the battles for the fifth spot in the rotation, that last opening or two in the bullpen, and the final bench spot. It could also be impacted by late additions or trades - the Phillies are almost certain to try to deal Adam Eaton, for example, but would probably have to pay for most of his salary.