Jun 042011

stack of cashAnyone hoping the Phillies would dig a little deeper into the money bin for a right handed bat can now stop holding your breath.  That’s because it was disclosed Friday that they are in violation of Major League Baseball’s debt service rules.  

That basically means the team’s outstanding debt exceeds more than 10 times their annual earnings, a violation of Major League Baseball’s policies.  Eight other clubs are in the same boat — the Mets, Dodgers, Nationals, Rangers, Marlins, Tigers, Cubs and Orioles — so it’s not just the Phillies.

Team President David Montgomery has issued an official statement regarding the matter.

“In recent years, the Phillies have been compliant under the debt-service rule,” Montgomery said. “Our last submission for 2011 indicated that we currently are not compliant. As a result, we met with the Commissioner’s office and are working on ways to remedy our current situation.”

While a large portion of the ongoing debt likely arises from costs associated with Citizens Bank Park, payroll is still a healthy chunk of it.  With their existing payroll of over $175 million putting them behind only the Yankees, not to mention close to baseball’s $178 million luxury tax threshold that requries teams to pay 22.5 percent for every dollar over, the Phillies are strapped. 

So really, the only way the Phils are adding anyone is if they can trade the full contracts of both Raul Ibanez and Joe Blanton, which is less likely to happen than if that crazy religious world ending guy predicted it.  Actually, they will probably look to move both contracts either way, adding nothing except some financial freedom along with the proverbial bucket of balls. 

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