The NL payroll picture

Earlier this week, we took a look at the American League teams and the dollars coming off their books due to free agency. Today we look at the National League, where the Philadelphia Phillies, St. Louis Cardinals, Los Angeles Dodgers, Milwaukee Brewers and San Francisco Giants have the most cash coming off their books and should have the most flexibility in terms of offseason spending. However, keep in mind that their arbitration-eligible players and long-term contractual commitments factor into their financial payroll flexibility.

Here is breakdown of each team's estimated 2012 salary commitments compared to their 2011 Opening Day payroll. Remember that 2012 commitments do not include the money that players will get via arbitration. For example, the Phillies' 2012 number does not include the salary that Cole Hamels will earn via arbitration, which will almost certainly be more than $10 million.