December 11, 2019
Yesterday afternoon, the Phillies signed former Yankees' infielder Didi Gregorius to a one-year prove it deal worth $14 million. Then, while you were sleeping, the Yankees took that savings (and millions upon millions more) and signed Gerrit Cole to an insane nine-year, $324 million deal.
The top prize is now off the board but more impact players remain, like Josh Donaldson, Anthony Rendon, Madison Bumgarner and others who would no doubt improve the Phillies. The question is, will they continue being aggressive?
According to most projections, the Phillies salaries now add up to around $205 million — just $3 million short of the luxury tax threshold. Prior to their signing of Gregorius, the Phillies were speculated to have interest in players who would clearly put them over that number. If they were willing then, they are willing now.
Another argument in favor of the team being a little more aggressive to get another high-level guy: if they exceed the cap, it likely won't be a long term tax. That's because after 2020, Gregorius, Jake Arrieta and David Robertson will be off the books, clearing around $50 million in cap space.
The Phillies may not be the leaders to sign anyone right off the bat as the dust settles from the Winter Meetings, but if for some reason an opportunity presents itself, Philly might jump in the mix and try and land a big name like those we mentioned above.
Regardless, the Phils will be adding on the margins, as they are in need of a bench plan, outfield depth and perhaps (hopefully) another rotation-worthy starter.
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