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Burnett deal could push Phils' payroll to record high

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- The Phillies could finish the season with a franchise-record payroll following their agreement with A.J. Burnett on a one-year, $16 million deal.

The Phils finished 2012 at a record $174.5 million, according to figures sent from the Commissioner's Office to teams for luxury-tax purposes. That figure includes the average annual value of contracts, more than $10 million for benefits and extended benefits, bonuses and more. Figure Burnett's $16 million salary into the mix, and the Phillies' payroll is about $174 million, with the luxury tax now $189 million.

"Our payroll is fairly flexible," general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said Thursday. "It's interesting. Our ownership group and David [Montgomery] have been very open-minded in a lot of ways."

Could the Phillies add anybody else to the roster? They watched former closer Ryan Madson throw last week in Arizona. He has not pitched since 2011 because of elbow injuries.

"Our reports were good when we saw him, so he's going to sign somewhere," Amaro said. "We're still looking at some things. Again, as I said before, we'll likely go with the guys we've got. But we're looking at other possibilities this spring. Any time we can try to bolster our club, we'll try to do that."

Todd Zolecki is a reporter for
Read More: Philadelphia Phillies, A.J. Burnett