By Sam Bush

It turns out that Phils owner John Middleton doesn’t like to spend money.

Especially in the age of COVID-19, when the revenue from fans attending games is gone for the time being.

How will that affect the Phils chances of signing their catcher JT Realmuto?

The Phillies projected payroll, according to Spotrac, is $149.5 million. The luxury tax is set for $210 million which gives Middleton $60.5 million to spend without going over the tax.

Middleton has hinted that, with losses suffered in 2020 and uncertainty over how many fans will be in the stands or games will be played in ‘21, the team would pull back in free agency this off-season to compensate.

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So let’s say the Phils only want to spend another $40 million. At $25 million per season, that would still leave the Phils some wiggle room to add another back-of-the-rotation starter and bullpen pieces on one or two-year deals. Hopefully the team has a competent general manager or president of baseball operations in time to help with those decisions but, if not, Middleton can certainly pull off a Realmuto deal on his own.