The Phillies Lost A Ton In 2020. I Have A Solution For Them.
by Paul Semendinger
November 29, 2020
The Phillies are claiming that they lost $2B in 2020. TWO BILLION DOLLARS!
Billion as with a B.
(Update, the NY Daily News has stated that the $2B number refers to the losses that the Phillies owner incurred because of the pandemic.)
BREAKING: #Phillies are not able to afford JT Realmuto and will not re-sign him, John Middleton says. Middleton says the team lost $2B this year. — Phils Nation (@PHLPhilNation) November 28, 2020
There are two players currently on the Phillies roster that could help the Yankees a great deal. Maybe the Yankees and the Phillies can match-up and make a trade or two to give the Phillies some needed salary relief.
With the Phillies losing J.T. Realmuto and Didi Gregorius, and with them being in the same division as the Nationals and the Braves and well as the reborn Mets, it might be time for them to cut their losses and begin a rebuild.
That’s where the Yankees come in to help take some salary off their hands.
The Yankees can use a top-of-the-rotation starter to match-up with Gerrit Cole.
Rather than the Yankees going out and spending $30M per year on Trevor Bauer, the Phillies have Aaron Nola. Per Cot’s Baseball Contracts, Nola is about to get expensive. He will make $11.75M in 2021 and $15M in 2022 (along with a club option of $16M for 2023). Rather than pay him, as he begins to make close to top dollar, the Yankees can offer a package of young arms. I’d be reluctant to trade Deivi Garcia, but besides him, would be willing to deal Clarke Schmidt and Jordan Montgomery, and even a lesser prospect as well for Aaron Nola. Schmidt and Montgomery would give the Phillies 40% of a young starting rotation that just might be ready to blossom when the Phillies are ready to compete again.
Nola is only 27-years-old, the same age as Jordan Montgomery, but Montgomery will earn less than $1M in 2021. Clarke Schmidt, only 24-years-old, is slated to make the Major League minimum in 2021.
By making this trade, the Phillies would save close to $10M in 2021 and $13M in 2022. Total savings is $23M.
For the Yankees, they get their legitimate #2 starter as a huge discount, of about $20M in 2021 and $15M in 2022 as compared to the cost of Trevor Bauer.
Readers of this blog know that I have long wanted Bryce Harper on the Yankees. He would be a superstar in New York. A SUPERSTAR.
He would also be the big left-handed bat the Yankees need in the middle of that lineup. He would slot in right between Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton.
Now, the question would be how can the Yankees afford to take on another $26M in salary?
First, if you compare this amount to the money saved by acquiring Aaron Nola over Trevor Bauer, the additional expense isn’t as much as it might seem ($6M in 2021 and $11M in 2022…to start).
One idea would be to send Aaron Hicks ($10.5M) to the Phillies to off-set the additional expense. As an initial idea, this would make sense financially, but it would leave the Yankees without a centerfielder. So, Aaron Hicks can’t be included in the deal.
If the Phillies send $5M annually to the Yankees as salary relief, in year one of the deal, the net cost of Harper and Nola is about $1M more than the possible $30M that Trevor Bauer would command.
In addition, the Yankees have the salaries of Masahiro Tanaka, James Paxton, and J.A. Happ all coming off the books. All things being equal here, the Yankees could acquire Harper and Nola and still have a total payroll under the 2021 team’s salary.
So, what would it cost in players to finally have Bryce Harper on the Yankees? The Yankees could start with Clint Frazier and Estevan Florial and go from there. The Phillies will need an outfielder to immediately replace Harper. Clint Frazier is that guy. Estevan Florial is the next guy for them to have for the future. As the Braves and Nationals age, the Phillies new young core could be ready to ascend.
Along with Frazier and Florial, the Yankees would have to include a high-end prospect. Anthony Seigler might be the piece. Maybe it’s Anthony Volpe. If a team us trading for a superstar like Harper it has to hurt. But this would be worth the pain. Bryce Harper’s big lefty bat in the middle of the lineup makes the Yankees a true powerhouse.
Then, along with Aaron Nola, the Yankees would have a rotation of:
TBD (see note below)
Michael King/Luis Severino
And Domingo German is still on the roster and a possible member of the rotation. Or, he could be sent as part of the package to possibly keep Jordan Montgomery.
TBD – There will be a glut of solid arms on the market who will not command top dollar this winter. This list includes old friends Masahiro Tanaka, James Paxton, and J.A. Happ, but it also includes a host of other pitchers who could slot in nicely. Corey Kluber is also out there looking to return to star status after being injured. He says he’s fully healthy.
Along the same lines, maybe the Yankees take Zack Wheeler as well from the Phillies and can offer less for Nola and Harper because they would be taking on more costs. This is, in some regards, what the Dodgers have been doing. In order to get Mookie Betts for a lower cost, they took on the contract of David Price.
Crazier things have happened.
When teams struggle financially the Yankees should exercise their tremendous financial advantage to do what is necessary to bring a championship back to the Bronx.
The beauty of this idea is that Harper and Nola are young enough to support the Yankees’ core and keep them competitive for many years into the future.