A new TV deal should give the Phillies the money to aggressively pursue free agents around existing contracts like Chase Utley and Ryan Howard. (USA TODAY Sports)
It’s been known for some time that the Philadelphia Phillies, on a below-market local television deal, could see their financial circumstances change dramatically once a new deal is signed.
According to a source with knowledge of the talks, the deal is expected to be completed within the next 30 days. That’s going to matter a great deal for how the team operates this winter.
Consider what the new revenue is likely to be. Under their current deal, which expires after 2014, the Phillies make $35 million per season. This is low by virtually any standard. The San Diego Padres, for instance, make $60 million per year on their television deal. The Rangers are on a new deal at $80 million per season. The Angels check in at $147 million per year. And all three also received equity stakes in the sports networks paying the team.
The Phillies, however, play in Philadelphia (you may have heard), which is the largest single-team market in MLB. Their new deal will be for many times what they are currently making. Phillies ownership can lock in what that will be, and set budgets accordingly.
The result should be an active offseason for a Phillies team that already has $118.5 million on the books for 2014, committed to seven players: Ryan Howard, Cole Hamels, Cliff Lee, Chase Utley, Jonathan Papelbon, Jimmy Rollins and Mike Adams.
While the Phillies aren’t likely to blow past that $189 million luxury tax threshold, the line serving as de facto salary cap for every team east of Los Angeles, that still gives the Phillies plenty of room to get involved in the bidding on players like Jacoby Ellsbury and Shin-Soo Choo in the outfield, or even rotation pieces like Tim Lincecum.
Posted: October 21, 2013 at 08:36 PM | 18 comment(s)
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