One of the important revelations today: the Phillies should finish the season under the $178 million luxury tax threshold, meaning they won't incur a 30 percent penalty if they exceed it next year. Instead, that figure will be 17.5 percent. That's important, because the Phillies could very well go over.
Right now, they have $138.35 million guaranteed to 10 players. I'm projecting a $2.75 million arbitration salary for Nate Schierholtz, with Scott Hairston as my comparable, and I'm projecting $1.5 million for Antonio Bastardo. The Phillies usually sign a utility player for about $600,000 and a backup catcher for $800,000. Along with Domonic Brown, John Mayberry Jr., Vance Worley, Josh Lindblom and Jake Diekman, all of whom should make right around the minimum, the Phillies would have about $146.12 million going to 19 players.
Ruben Amaro Jr. indicated that he expects to have enough money to sign multiple high-profile free agents. He specifically mentioned the bullpen, where players like Carlos Villanueva, Mark Lowe, Peter Moylan, Jason Frasor, Joel Peralta, J.P. Howell and Randy Choate are all scheduled to be free agents.