Well, the Phillies have two things going for them: Empty pockets and a virtually blank slate. They have just $25.5 million committed beyond 2018 – to outfielder Odubel Herrera – a relatively loaded farm system and, for now, low expectations.
As they’ve rebuilt, the Phillies have presumably been stuffing their pockets with cash: They’re in the second year of a 25-year, $2.5 billion TV deal. And they have no choice but to spend big, soon. After drawing 3.5 million fans in 2012, 2017 marked their third consecutive year under the 2 million mark in attendance.
A couple prizes from the vaunted free agent class of 2018 would make any manager smarter: