Here is a look at the Phillies 2012 roster and payroll projections following the signing of Jonathan Papelbon. The numbers are, of course, opinion and subject to change. They are merely educated guesses, especially the arbitration numbers.

Blue: money that the Phillies owe in 2012
Red: educated guess as to how much player will earn in 2012 (arbitration or otherwise)


-Ryan Howard: $20MM
-Chase Utley: $15.286MM
-Placido Polanco: $6.417MM
-Carlos Ruiz: $3.7 MM
-Jim Thome: $1.25MM
-Michael Martinez: $425K



-Shane Victorino: $9.5MM
-Hunter Pence: $11.5MM
-Ben Francisco: $2.2MM
-John Mayberry Jr.: $425K


Starting Pitching:

-Cliff Lee: $21.5MM
-Roy Halladay: $20MM
-Cole Hamels: $14MM
-Joe Blanton: $10.5MM
-Kyle Kendrick: $3.8MM
-Vance Worley: $425K


Relief Pitching:

-Jonathan Papelbon: $12.5MM
-Jose Contreras: $2.5MM
-David Herndon: $575K
-Antonio Bastardo: $575K
-Michael Stutes: $425K


Buyout Payments:

-Roy Oswalt: $2MM
-Brad Lidge: $1.5MM

Estimated Total: $161 million (20 players, two buyouts)

Luxury Tax: $178 million (in 2011)

Give or take a player, the Phillies will have 20 players under contract heading into 2012 with a payroll of roughly $161 million, including the two buyouts. They’ll need five (or so) more players to fill out the roster with about $17-20 million to spend. (I say $20 million because it would be silly for the Phils to smash right up against the MLB Luxury tax; Ruben Amaro will want some wiggle room).

According to USA Today’s salary database, the Phillies spent a shade under $173 million in 2011. By the way, if the Luxury Tax continues to climb at its normal rate, it would go to about $186 million.* If so, the Phils could spend around $180MM.

*It has risen $8 million in each of the last five seasons.

With roughly $17-20 million left to spend this offseason, what moves make the most sense?