LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — The Phillies, long wary of paying luxury tax, can raise their payroll in 2014 because Major League Baseball's minimum threshold for being taxed rises by $11 million. But general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. expects his payroll to remain at the same level from 2013.
The Phillies finished the season with roughly $165 million in payroll. The luxury tax limit was $178 million in 2013 and will be at $189 million in 2014.
"We should be contending with this kind of payroll, at $165 or $170 million, wherever it shakes out to be," Amaro said. "I think we have some flexibility to add. A lot of it depends on what makes sense for us."
The Phillies have committed about $140 million to 12 players under contract. Their four arbitration players should add another $12 million in salary, although John Mayberry Jr. is a trade candidate. The rest of the roster could be filled by players making near the league minimum of $500,000.