As we've seen since the 2012 playoffs, the Phillies core we knew as champions in 2008 and added more pitching through the years, is in heaps of trouble. The organization admitted this much earlier this week by trading away Shane Victorino and Hunter Pence. When the Phils added Oswalt to the Halladay-Hamels-Lee trio, it appeared they were the team to beat in the majors for the foreseeable future.
Now, sitting in last place with a bunch of 30-somethings under crazy contracts, where do they go from here? Their best prospects from last year, Cosart/Singleton/Ramirez are all tearing it up for different Houston minor league clubs right now. Dominic Brown doesn't look like he is the prospect Philly hoped for a year or two ago, and the addition of catching prospect Tommy Joseph was nice, but the Phillies best player in 2012 has been catcher Carlos Ruiz.
Just how much does this team owe to 7 of their core players right now?
Rollins - 2013 (11M) 2014 (11M)
Papelbon - 2013 (13M) 2014 (13M) 2015 (13M) 2016 (13M option)
Hamels - 2013 (19.5M) 2014 (22.5M) 2015 (22.5M) 2016 (22.5M) 2017 (22.5M) 2018 (22.5M) 2019 (24M)
Utley - 2013 (15M)
Howard - 2013 (20M) 2014 (25M) 2015 (25M) 2016 (25M) 2017 (23M option)
Halladay - 2013 (20M) 2014 (20M option)
Lee - 2013 (25M) 2014 (25M) 2015 (25M) 2016 (27.5M option)
Not counting options, that's 123.5 million for 2013 already on the books. Now, Philadelphia sells out every game and ownership has money to spend, but that can't be good for a core that is currently in last place. There aren't prospects galore waiting to come up for depth and to fill other roles, and payroll can go upwards of 175M+, but that is still not much room to work.
Also not including options, for those wondering, that's 408 million owed through 2018, with Hamels being the only player signed for that season...
One reason for the lack of prospects besides using plenty to acquire Halladay/Pence/etc? How about only 1 of their 1st round picks since 2002 are currently on the Phillies big league roster, 2007 19th overall pick Joe Savery is a rookie LH relief pitcher.