It’s always about the money.
As we creep closer and closer to the June MLB Draft, teams will soon no longer be able to use draft pick compensation (and the loss of draft slot dollars) to justify passing up either Dallas Keuchel or Craig Kimbrel.
For a team like the Phillies, the draft is just one factor. Another: The luxury tax. With just $17.9 million to play with under this year’s tax, the Phillies could be waiting out a prorated deal for a difference-maker like Kimbrel.
Unless, of course, they aren’t interested in signing away long-term payroll space. That was one theory floated by Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, including a name to watch.
A team such as the Phillies also might be worried about its allocation of resources, even with three relievers earning a combined $28 million (Hunter, Juan Nicasio, Pat Neshek) in the final years of contracts. The Phils might want to sign younger players to extensions, or perhaps enter the bidding for a free agent such as right-hander Gerrit Cole this offseason.