Phillies payroll: Nearly $500 million spent in one offseason and Phillies still have financial flexibility

Corey Seidman
Despite spending upwards of $475 million this offseason, the Phillies have their payroll in surprisingly good shape moving forward. By Corey Seidman
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Phillies payroll: Nearly $500 million spent in one offseason and Phillies still have financial flexibility originally appeared on

The Phillies committed more than $475 million of new money this offseason. Staggering. "Stupid," even.

And yet despite that, their payroll is still about $40 million below the luxury tax threshold. And it's still not the highest payroll in Phillies history.

Player incentives and bonuses - calculated at the end of the season - will push this number closer to the luxury tax but this is where the Phillies stand as of today.

First things first, here's how the Phillies arrived at that $475 million figure:

• $330 million for Bryce Harper

• $50 million for Andrew McCutchen 

• $45 million extension for Aaron Nola

• $23 million to David Robertson

• $5.9 million to J.T. Realmuto

Then, you factor in the difference between Jean Segura's remaining years under contract vs. what Carlos Santana had left. Segura has four more years to Santana's two, so that difference is $23 million total.

Which gets us to a grand total of $477 million spent in one historic offseason.

According to ESPN's Kevin Negandhi, the Phillies are the first team in baseball history to add three position players in one offseason who were All-Stars the previous season.

The updated payroll

Harper's annual average value is a surprisingly low $25.38 million. A ton of money, obviously, but it's 14th all-time for a baseball player on a per-year basis.

Including Harper's average salary, the Phillies are at about $166 million for 2019. 

This is not their highest-ever payroll. They opened the 2011 season at around $166 million, the 2012 season at $172 million and the 2014 season at $178 million.

The luxury tax threshold is $206 million this year, $208 million in 2020 and $210 million in 2021. 

A key thing to remember, though, is that the Phillies have $26 million coming off the books after 2019 as contracts expire for Pat Neshek, Tommy Hunter and Juan Nicasio. The Phillies will again be in a position to add next offseason, or to extend another homegrown player like Rhys Hoskins.

You all know who is set to become a free agent after 2020 - one Mike Trout. The Phillies, because of the way they stretched out Harper's deal, will be able to make a strong bid to sign Trout. We can think more about that as the time approaches, but the fact of the matter is that the Phillies made a historic free-agent signing without hampering themselves for the future.

What an offseason.

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