In November, the Philadelphia Phillies faithful believed the franchise was a self-driving car going around in circles with little hope of addressing their needs. Furthermore, managing partner John Middleton claimed losses of up to $150 million and projected a lower payroll. Sacrebleu!
Some Phillies fans have no difficulty spending above the CBT (competitive-balance threshold), as if the pandemic and global financial problems are cinematic. Previously, their shopping list included two mid-rotation arms, an entirely new relief corps with a stud closer, and re-signing JT Realmuto and Didi Gregorius before December.
IN OTHER WORDS:
“That most delicious of all privileges -- spending other people's money.” - John Randolph of Roanoke
Behind the virtual front-office door, the higher-ups realized Realmuto and Gregorius were not going to quickly sign anywhere --especially the All-Star catcher. So, their strategy was to re-sign them and pick from a large pool of pitching bargains even before the hiring of Dave Dombrowski, president of baseball operations.
In fact, president Andy MacPhail even said they would be late free-agent buyers on October 31, but it was one sentence within an entire interview. And either writers or fans didn’t hear or read MacPhail’s remarks at the time --like me-- or their views muted the comment if they noticed it.
Even though the Fightins have committed $201.7 million AAV (average annual value), they will also be responsible for roughly another $6 million when Tony Watson and Brandon Kintzler make the Opening Day 26. But those two hurlers will increase the monetary total to only cover 21 roster slots.