Even though the 2012 season humbled the Phillies a good bit, they're still one of baseball's biggest spending franchises, and it's extremely unlikely to change anytime soon. They simply have too much invested in this current core of players.

The Phillies two biggest moves of the offseason -- trading pitchers Vance Worley and Trevor May for Twins outfielder Ben Revere, and sending Josh Lindblom and Lisalverto Bonilla to the Rangers for Michael Young and a bunch of cash -- were not the "big splash" moves that we've all grown accustomed to seeing from General Manager Ruben Amaro, Jr. Rather than cashing in big on free agents like Michael Bourn or Kevin Youkilis to fill needs, Amaro took more creative, cost-effective approaches. The question is: why?

The new Collective Bargaining Agreement imposes onerous penalties who exceed the luxury tax threshold in consecutive seasons. That threshold increases from $178 million in 2013 to $189 million in 2014. That's quite a bit, and for a team that could potentially have Chase Utley (sob) and Roy Halladay (sniffle) coming off the books after 2013, that's a lot of money to work with.

When the Phillies completed the Michael Young trade, more was made of Young's leadership qualities than about his actual production, which is understandable at this point in his career. As fans on the outside, we are really never privy to the state of the locker room, so I really defer judgment there.