In that Sports Illustrated article we mentioned the other day, Fred Wilpon suggested that the team’s payroll is going to be slashed pretty dramatically next year, perhaps down to $100 million. Sandy Alderson spoke with the media yesterday, however, and he suggested that things may not be cut that low. More like down to $120 million or so, give or take.
Alderson did note that, obviously, there are a ton of factors in play that could affect that number including the minority investor who may or may not come on board soon, legal wrangling, what have you. Either way around $65 million is coming off the books following this season, so you know that payroll is going down regardless, but it will be interesting to see whose vision of the team’s future — Fred Wilpon or Sandy Alderson’s — will prevail.
But hey, at least Alderson is keeping a sense of humor about it all:
“If the world had ended on Saturday, like it was supposed to we wouldn’t have to deal with these things.”
Tip your waitresses everyone, and be sure to try the veal.
CSN Philly’s Jim Salisbury reports that Phillies outfielder Nick Williams has been working out daily with free agent starter Jake Arrieta in Austin. The right-hander, who won the 2015 National League Cy Young Award, still remains teamless with spring training less than a month away. Williams has been trying to sell Arrieta on joining the Phillies.
Williams said of Arrieta, “He loves it here [Austin]. He has told me he likes working with young guys. I’m like, ‘All right, come on up.’ But I’m not writing the check. I don’t know what he wants. I don’t really dig into that because I’m not really in his position.”
On GM Matt Klentak’s hunt for pitching help, new manager Gabe Kapler said, “The pursuit is very real. I have a lot of trust that we’ll either go in [to spring training] with a new toy or we will pass on the opportunity because we’re better off giving this collection of pitchers a really healthy look because we thought that we could go acquire that piece a little bit later on this season or in the offseason next year.”
Arrieta, who turns 32 years old in March, went 14-10 with a 3.53 ERA and a 163/55 K/BB ratio in 168 1/3 innings last season with the Cubs. The Cubs, Cardinals, and Brewers have been linked to Arrieta this month.
Presently, the Phillies’ starting rotation figures to include Aaron Nola, Jerad Eickhoff, and Vince Velasquez along with some combination of Nick Pivetta, Ben Lively, Zach Eflin, Mark Leiter, and Jake Thompson. Arrieta would certainly amount to a big upgrade in the starting rotation and could make the Phillies a more attractive landing spot for Bryce Harper or Manny Machado, who become free agents after the 2018 campaign. The Phillies are expected to be in the mix for either or both players.