A Wrench in the Phillies’ Future Plans

Much of the talk lately has focused on present decisions to be made by the Phillies as it pertains to the July 31 trade deadline. Debates over trading or re-signing Chase Utley, trading away Michael Young and giving a regular role to Kevin Frandsen and even Cody Asche, dumping Delmon Young, and even trading away Cliff Lee have taken up just about all of the energy from writers and pundits. And it is completely merited — one wrong decision over the next eight days can severely handicap the Phillies in the years going forward.

Those in favor of a buy-now strategy tend to mitigate future risk by citing the Phillies’ upcoming TV deal, which could potentially be worth billions of dollars. As Jeff Passan pointed out in a column posted on April 28, there may be a bidding war between Comcast and FOX Sports, and the last time there was a bidding war over a TV deal, the Dodgers got $7 billion. Even without knowing what a likely average annual value would be, the Phillies’ payroll could eventually be as limitless as that of the New York Yankees. So, the Phillies don’t have a great Minor League system? Their core is aging and won’t be around when that TV deal is signed? The influx of money will allow the Phillies to literally buy their way out of their problems. Or so you’d think.

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