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GM Amaro: Phillies have $15 million to spend on third base, pitching help

Nov 19, 2009, 5:04 PM EDT

amaro.jpgTalking to The News Journal’s Scott Lauber, Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. on Wednesday listed third base and bullpen help as his top priorities this winter, adding that he didn’t expect his team’s payroll to exceed $140 million by much if any margin.
That doesn’t leave the Phillies with as much flexibility as anticipated. The Phillies already have $106.75 million committed to 12 players for 2009. Joe Blanton ($7 million), Shane Victorino ($5.5 million), Carlos Ruiz ($2.5 million), Chad Durbin ($2.5 million) and Ben Francisco ($1.5 million) figure to collect $19 million or so through arbitration, pushing the Phillies up to $125 million before anyone is acquired.
So, that leaves the Phillies about $15 million for six roster spots. On offense, they need a third baseman, a utilityman, a pinch-hitter if Matt Stairs doesn’t return and a backup catcher. They also want another setup man to put in front of Brad Lidge and a pitcher for rotation depth.
That modest limit would make it awfully difficult for them to bring in a Chone Figgins or a quality starter. Mark DeRosa, apparently their top pick for third base, would eat up at least $6 million of that in the first year of a two- or three-year deal. Garrett Atkins could come a little cheaper. A setup man like Brandon Lyon or LaTroy Hawkins will likely cost $4 million-$5 million. Fernando Rodney and Mike Gonzalez could be even more expensive.
Barring a surprising move to trade for a cheap third baseman, the Phillies won’t be going after the big names in free agency. They have some room to maneuver, but it’s doubtful that they’ll be too adventurous after back-to-back World Series appearances.

  1. Old Gator - Nov 19, 2009 at 11:17 PM

    I don’t know why Amaro would be so anxious to provide more depth ahead of Lidge when he really needs someone behind him to clean up the mess. What he’s going to do with a measley $15 million in this economy is beyond me, though. That’s barely enough to cater the clubhouse for a season with those horrible horsemeat and velveeta sandwiches they make up there, and it’s certainly not enough to hire a fulltime cardiologist to monitor the buildup of aortal plaque from eating those superfund-sites-on-a-bun either. It’s a cinch that if Benjamin Franklin was still chasing tail at 80, he knew better than to eat that crap.

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