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
TOTAL: $60.25 MILLION
Shawn Kelley $975,000 (estimated)
REST OF LIKELY 25-MAN ROSTER, MINUS ONE STARTING PITCHER (ALL NUMBERS ESTIMATED; PLAYERS ARE UNDER CLUB CONTROL, MINIMUM SALARY IS $490,000)
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
TOTAL: $6.6 MILLION
Chone Figgins $8.5 million
Danny Hultzen $1.97 million*
*Earns salary even if in minors
TOTAL: $10.47 MILLION
GRAND TOTAL: $78,295,000