One of the negatives from yesterday’s decision to tender Kyle Kendrick is that it pushes the Phillies closer to baseball’s luxury tax threshold.
Depending on their showing in spring training, Kyle Kendrick and/or Joe Blanton will be evicted from their homes in the starting rotation with the Phils picking up the tab on a high-priced mortgage. Kendrick could earn north of $3 million based on last season’s earnings and performance. More than one sabermatrician says it’s time to trust the numbers and bet that whatever funds the Phils commit to Kendrick will go bust. In layman’s terms: Kendrick wins, but wins dangerously.
The Phils sort of learned that lesson when they rewarded Blanton, who has been below average and hurt for two seasons, with $24 million. He’s set to earn $8.5 million, which will count against the $178M tax threshold. With the new collective bargaining agreement, teams over the cap will reportedly get dinged 42 percent on anything exceeding the threshold in 2012.
Blanton, who is reportedly over his elbow issues at last mention, is a bounce-back candidate in a contract year, but even if he makes the rotation, $8.5 million is a ton for a fifth starter, let alone the $3 million they'd pay Kendrick who would truly be a man without a home.