I appreciated your efforts on calculating the Phillies' 2012 payroll as it relates to the competitive balance tax. I have done something similar, and I'd like to discuss a couple of the "philosophical" approach differences between our lists.
You referenced Eric Seidman's well-done piece from last season noting certain parts of the calculation. However, I think Eric had two things incorrect. First, Eric treated team option buyouts as not being considered until that decision occurs. I believe the CBA is relatively clear on stating buyouts are to be treated as bonuses...that is...spread across the AAV of the guaranteed years. This changes the calculations on a bunch of players. One, of course, is Ryan Howard for whom the 6/$133M now becomes 6/$143M (and I'll state Eric's explanation of how to treat 2011 in Howard's total calc was extremely helpful).
The second main point of disagreement with that article comes in how Eric treats the 1/30th of player benefit costs. As I read the CBA, one note in that section that stands out to me is the sidenote that the demoninator of "30" will change if the number of MLB teams changes. This seems to clearly indicate the 1/30th share is 1/30th of what all teams have paid in cumulatively. Eric interprets it as 1/30th of what only the Phillies have paid in, and arrives at the $1M you use in your article.
I fear the figure could be much greater than that $1M, and could have a significant impact on the total calculation and available $. However, I have no clue how to estimate what that figure might be, and my google searches come up empty on finding any discussion of what that 1/30th could actually be per team. I was even hoping to potentially "reverse engineer" it if it's clear what MLB reached as the Phillies' total 2011 cap figure. Do we know what that was (has it been formally published).
Any feedback is appreciated.