When I started covering the Phillies beat three years ago, I never thought I would be using the words "luxury tax" when analyzing the payroll. But the Phillies have joined baseball's financial big boys, as evidenced by the record salary number they will dole out this season.
This year's magic figure: $167.657 million.
That leaves the Phillies roughly $10 million shy of the $178 million threshold, after which teams are taxed on the money they spend.
Our Phillies payroll number is not official. Major League Baseball calculates payroll using the average annual value of each contract, while the number we have listed above is the sum of each player's base salary and bonuses that he will receive this season.
Nevertheless, the fact remains that the Phillies are in the sport's spending stratosphere. Since 2008, the payroll has increased by about 70.6 percent. During that same time period, attendance has only grown 21.5 percent.
Without further ado, here is the unofficial official breakdown (numbers in millions):
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