Big Spenders? Phillies’ New TV Deal Keeps Them Atop Payroll Mountain

Sep 16, 2013; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies second baseman Chase Utley (26) rounds the bases after hitting a three run home run off of Miami Marlins pitcher Sam Dyson (36) during the third inning at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Following two dismal seasons in which they finished 81-81 in 3rd place in 2012 and an even worse 73-89 in 4th place in 2013, the Philadelphia Phillies are dropping in attendance, but not in dollars, tweets Matt Gelb (@magelb) of the Philly Inquirer.

Fan attendance in 2013 dropped by over 500,000, but thanks to a new television deal with Comcast SportsNet worth somewhere between $2.5-$3 Billion, the Phillies have been able to sustain their payroll numbers going into 2014. The team has been in the top five of MLB Payrolls for the past four seasons, and while they’ve been quiet in recent weeks, a few more splashes could be made here or there.

General Manager Ruben Amaro, Jr. already made several moves early in the off-season, most notably re-signing 34-year-old catcher Carlos Ruiz to a three-year, $26 million contract. He has also added another arm to the starting rotation, inking the former-Fausto-Carmona-turned-Roberto-Hernandez to a one-year $4.5 million deal and filled a gap in the outfield by bringing aboard veteran Marlon Byrd to the tune of two-years and $16 million.

Phillies fans have scrutinized some of Amaro’s moves so far, citing that he continues to sign aging players to non-team-friendly deals, whilst making confusing statements regarding the availability and salary pickup of Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels, and Johnathan Papelbon. With Philadelphia being the latest team to agree to a blockbuster television deal, Amaro’s attitude towards dealing his high-dollar players may have changed.

Topics: Philadelphia Phillies

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