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Hot Stone League

Larry Stone gives his take on a wide array of baseball issues and weighs in about the Mariners, too.

January 18, 2013 at 4:32 PM

A look at where the Mariner payroll stands

Now that the Mariners have wrapped up contracts for Brendan Ryan and Kendrys Morales, and exchanged figures with Shawn Kelley, it seems like a good time to scan their current contract obligations, and see where their payroll stands.

As you can see by the chart below, I have them now at roughly $78.2 million for 24 players. That leaves them an opening to still bring in a starting pitcher, which seems a necessity the way the staff is currently configured. And considering the early-winter chatter that the Mariners planned to bring their payroll above $90 million for 2013, it would seem to allow them considerable flexibility to make another fairly substantial acquisition, or even two.

To clarify the chart: The first part is the most verifiable. It includes players already under contract, using figures that appeared via various sources, such as Associated Press, Cot’s Baseball Contracts or personal knowledge.

The second part is an estimation of Shawn Kelley’s salary, using the mid-point of today’s arbitration filing. It won’t be far off.

Third is a mockup of what I believe to be, at the moment, the players who will fill out the 25-man roster, all of whom are not yet eligible for arbitration and thus will have their salary assigned by the club. The only stipulation is the major-league minimum salary of $490,000, but for players who established themselves in the big leagues last year, I was a little more generous. I might be off high or low, but not likely in a significant fashion. The one little twist is Dustin Ackley, who negotiated a long-term contract when he was drafted No. 2 overall in 2009. To the best of my knowledge, he’ll earn in the neighborhood of $2.7 million. For the purposes of this discussion, I had Justin Smoak and Casper Wells fighting for the last position player spot, but their salaries won’t be much different. As mentioned, I left one spot open in the starting rotation for a new addition, and penciled in $1 million for a backup catcher.

The fourth section includes the salary still owed Chone Figgins, who was released after the season, and an estimation of the contractual obligation to Danny Hultzen, whether or not he’s on the major-league roster, as I understand it. He’s in the same category as Ackley.

What’s missing, and unknowable at this time, are payouts of incentive clauses based on performance that various players have negotiated into their contract. Those could end up being several million dollars (the M’s hope so; that probably means players have had good years).

But even assuming the maximum payout, it would appear that Jack Zduriencik still has manueverability to get some more things done.



Felix Hernandez $20.7 million

Hisashi Iwakuma $6.5 million

Oliver Perez $1.5 million

Josh Kinney $700,000


Kendrys Morales $5.25 million

Dustin Ackley $2.7 million

Brendan Ryan $3.25 million

Robert Andino $1.6 million (estimated)


Franklin Gutierrez $7.3 million

Michael Morse $7 million

Jason Bay $1 million

Raul Ibanez $2.75 million



Shawn Kelley $975,000 (estimated)

TOTAL: $975,000



Blake Beavan $550,000

Erasmo Ramirez $500,000

Tom Wilhelmsen $600,000

Charlie Furbush $600,000

Carter Capps/Stephen Pryor $500,000

Lucas Luetge $550,000


Jesus Montero $550,000

Backup: $1 million


Kyle Seager $600,000

Justin Smoak (or outfielder Casper Wells) $550,000


Michael Saunders $600,000



Chone Figgins $8.5 million

Danny Hultzen $1.97 million*

*Earns salary even if in minors


GRAND TOTAL: $78,295,000



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