PHILADELPHIA -- The Phillies have avoided any salary-arbitration hearings this year.
The club announced on Friday that it has agreed to one-year contracts with its three remaining unsigned arbitration-eligible players: first baseman Rhys Hoskins ($4.8 million, per sources), right-hander Vince Velasquez ($4 million) and left-hander José Alvarado ($1 million). The salaries have not yet been confirmed by the club.
The deals provide the Phillies with cost certainty as they pursue free-agent catcher J.T. Realmuto and shortstop Didi Gregorius, as well as try to fill other holes on the roster.
The Phillies and Realmuto had an arbitration hearing last February when the Phils offered $10 million, while he sought $12.4 million. The club won, but it is not a particularly fun process for anybody.
Friday’s deals provide the Phillies clarity in terms of how much money they have left to spend.
The Phillies have more than $129 million committed to 15 players on the 40-man roster, according to Cot’s Contracts: Bryce Harper ($27.5 million), Zack Wheeler (22.5 million), Andrew McCutchen ($20 million), Jean Segura ($14.85 million), Aaron Nola ($12.25 million), Archie Bradley ($6 million, pending a physical), Héctor Neris ($5 million), Hoskins ($4.8 million), Zach Eflin ($4.45 million), Scott Kingery ($4.25 million), Velasquez ($4 million), Andrew Knapp ($1.1 million), Alvarado ($1 million), David Hale ($850,000) and Seranthony Domínguez ($727,500). It does not include Cot’s estimated $7.7 million to players between 0-3 years of service time, or Odúbel Herrera’s $10 million salary.
The Phillies have said their 2021 payroll will be reduced from ‘20. It is unclear how much it will drop, but they do not have a ton of flexibility to re-sign Realmuto, Gregorius and do everything else they need to compete with the rest of the National League East.