After Friday's win the Phillies are one game away from the NLCS Oct 14, 2022; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia Phillies designated hitter Bryce Harper (3) celebrates with catcher J.T. Realmuto (10) after defeating the Atlanta Braves in game three of the NLDS for the 2022 MLB Playoffs at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Entering spring training, the Philadelphia Phillies’ payroll is in the $223 million range (a club record), but it only looks to grow. Owner John Middleton appears to be concentrating on the monetary output, rather than the return on investment.

That’s the fancy way of saying Middleton isn’t batting an eye about the money he’s spending.

He told The Philadelphia Inquirer’s Scott Lauber that he has one thing on his mind: Winning.

“How much did the ’27 Yankees make? Or the ’29 A’s? Or the ’75-’76 Big Red Machine?” Middleton asked. “Does anybody know? Does anybody care? Nobody knows or cares whether any of them made any money or not. And nobody cares about whether I make money or not. If my legacy is that I didn’t lose any money owning a baseball team on an annual operating basis, that’s a pretty sad legacy. It’s about putting trophies in the cases.”

Fans are loving it.

Middleton. who’s owned the team since 1994, is putting his money where his mouth is.

This offseason, the Phillies signed All-Star shortstop Trea Turner to an 11-year, $300,000,000 contract with an annual average salary of $27,272,727. The team also signed right-handed starter Taijuan Walker to a four-year, $72,000,000 contract, with a base salary of $18,000,000 per year.

Overall, Middleton had a $400,000,000 offseason. He doesn’t appear to wince at the thought.

The Phillies also of course possess seven-time All-Star outfielder Bryce Harper who chose Philadelphia after an interesting free agency following the 2018 season. He’s the highest-paid player on the team after signing a 13-year, $300,000,000 million contract in 2019 which was an MLB record at the time.

Having Harper on the team also helps in the recruiting process.

It doesn’t stop there.

Starting pitcher Aaron Nola reportedly has already started contract extension talks with the team’s BRASS, and with his resume, it’ll be just as lucrative for him.

Former MLB outfielder Sam Fuld has been on general manager duties for the Phillies for a while now and he’s just as hungry to win as the players.

The team finished with an 87-75 record last season, good enough for second place in the NL East.

That hopefully will improve.

[Philadelphia Inquirer]

About Jessica Kleinschmidt

Jess is a baseball fan with Reno, Nev. roots residing in the Bay Area. She is the host of "Short and to the Point" and is also a broadcaster with the Oakland A's Radio Network. She previously worked for and NBC Sports Bay Area.