The Philadelphia Phillies 2012 offseason will feature general manager Ruben Amaro, Jr., signing a big name player, just as he has during the past three offseasons.
The only difference this year is that, instead of a big name player signing on with the Phils for the first time, the player will be re-signing with the team.
Jimmy Rollins, Raul Ibanez, Ryan Madson, Brad Lidge, Brian Schneider, Ross Gload, and Roy Oswalt are all potential Phillies free agents.
Rollins, Ibanez, Madson, Schneider, and Gload are set to hit the open market, while Lidge and Oswalt have options that can lead to their free agency, as well.
In addition to these names, starting pitcher Cole Hamels is also due for a big pay-day.
Although he can’t become a free agent until after the 2012 season, Hamels is still headed for either a long-term deal, or arbitration.
As one of the best left handed pitchers in baseball, Hamels should be paid accordingly.
The only problem is that a fair contract could cost upwards of $120 million.
The Phillies currently have the second highest payroll in the league at over $172 million, with not much room left before the team crosses the luxury tax threshold.
However, the Phillies will be able to get close to $30 million back, by letting players such as Ibanez and Lidge go, with the potential to reach nearly $45 million if Oswalt does not return.
The Phillies can also get close to $15 million back if they are able to move the contracts of Joe Blanton, Ben Francisco, and Jose Contreras.
By allowing some players to leave as free agents, re-signing their top talent, and moving certain contracts, the Phillies will have options when it comes to the free agent class of 2012.
And Amaro is sure to make the most out of these options.