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January 20, 2010 at 6:40 PM

Felix Hernandez arrives in Seattle: deal done pending physical, press conference scheduled for tomorrow afternoon

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ADDITIONAL NOTE: 10:45 p.m.: Spoke to Brandon League tonight and he told me he’d signed for $1.08 million, so we’ll leave his spot on our salary chart at $1.1 million for the sake of the count. Also, on the salary thing, I’ve corrected Dustin Ackley, who is actually making $1.5 million total salary over five years, not just in 2010. So, I’ve left that at $300,000 for 2010 and added his pro-rated bonus to give $1.5 million for the year, down from $2.7 million. So, in total, the team is right around $88 million.
Felix Hernandez touched down on a flight from Venezuela just before 6 p.m. and is making his way to downtown Seattle as I type this. Hernandez has a physical tomorrow morning and then, a press conference his agent said is scheduled for 5 p.m. at Safeco Field.
Wil Polidor, the main Venezuelan-based agent for Hernandez, was on-hand at SeaTac to pick him up. Hernandez did not bring his family with him, so will presumably be alone in that regard at the press conference to announce the five-year, $78 million deal.
I asked Polidor whether this meant everything had been completed negotiation-wise pending the physical.
“Yes, that’s exactly it,” he replied.
Hernandez won’t talk until the press conference.
I’ve got some more info on our salary chart from this morning and it’s gone up to just about $88 million. Let’s take a look at it once again.

Here are the new figures:
ICHIRO — $17 million + $5 million signing bonus (pro-rated $1 million per year)
MILTON BRADLEY — $9 million + $3.5 million to Cubs
CLIFF LEE — $9 million
CHONE FIGGINS — $8.0 million +2 million signing bonus (pro-rated $500,000 per year)
FELIX HERNANDEZ — $6.5 million + $3.5 million signing bonus (pro-rated $700,000 per year)
JACK WILSON — $5 million
FRANKLIN GUTIERREZ — $3.5 million (estimated on accelerating contract)
IAN SNELL — $4.25 million
CASEY KOTCHMAN — $3.5 million (estimated)
DAVID AARDSMA — $2.75 million
KEN GRIFFEY JR. — $2.35 million
JOSE LOPEZ — $2.3 million
MARK LOWE — $1.15 million
BRANDON LEAGUE — $1.1 million (estimated)
GARRETT OLSON — $420,000
JACK HANNAHAN — $410,000
ROB JOHNSON — $400,000
SHAWN KELLEY — $400,000
ADAM MOORE –$400,000
SEAN WHITE — $400,000
JASON VARGAS — $400,000
DOUG FISTER — $400,000
DUSTIN ACKLEY — $300,000 + $6 million bonus (pro-rated at $1.2 million per year)
TOTAL — $88 million (approx)
So, the figure goes to $87.875 million, factoring in pro-rated signing bonuses for both Ichiro and Chone Figgins. It also takes into account the fact Dustin Ackley has a major league deal, meaning he makes $1.5 million over the life of his five-year deal whether he’s in the minors or not. You count part of that as major league salary, as well as his pro-rated signing bonus.
A second Mariners official I spoke to today confirmed that the team does indeed pro-rate bonuses over the life of a contract when it comes to calculating payroll.
In terms of deferred Ichiro money, the amount being put off ($5 million per year in Ichiro’s case) still has to be accounted for in payroll. The actual money is still at-hand and the team could, in theory, go out and spend it someplace since it doesn’t have to give Ichiro anything until he retires. But it has to be accounted for as per MLB rules, so a team doesn’t go bust one day and claim it can’t pay athletes. It’s complicated, but the bottom line is, the money is accounted for in payroll.
As for Franklin Gutierrez, I’ve lowered his salary to an estimated $3.5 million. I’ve been told that his salary does indeed accelerate upwards, meaning you can’t calculate it at an average. So, I figure $3.5 million is a good place to start, since it could then rise to $4.5 million, then $5.5 million then $6.5 million equalling $20 million plus a $500,000 buyout after the fourth year. Sounds about right. I’ll try to find out more tomorrow.
The Mariners who know the precise answers to all of these questions have been running around with Hernandez’s contract talks all day. I’ve been dealing with secondary sources who know some of the answers, but not all. This gets it pretty close, though. The team still has roughly $8 million to $10 million more to spend if it wants to come in at last year’s payroll.

Comments | Topics: Chone Figgins


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