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Daily coverage of the Mariners during the season and all year long.

April 1, 2011 at 4:54 PM

Mariners right where they were at last year in terms of payroll

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Oakland Athletics players and coaches have taken the field for pre-game warm-ups. That crowd you see is by the home dugout, where manager Bob Geren just gave his daily media session.
It was tough to hear what was going on. I even had to use a little technical ingenuity to get a clear view of Geren’s face. Improvisation is always fun.
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By the way, the M’s take a four-year win streak in openers into today. Guess who’s been around for all four? Call me your Seattle good luck charm. Only works for Opening Day, though. And no, Felix Hernandez has nothing to do with it.

Anyhow, USA Today released its annual salary database this morning and calculated the M’s to be at $86.524 million. That’s for all players on an active roster, including injured ones like David Aardsma and Shawn Kelley. That puts the Mariners in 16th place in MLB.
Last year, the Mariners checked in at $86.510 million.
So, it’s almost exactly identical. Just as the team said it would be.


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Now, I know some of you are confused, because, after all, we’ve been writing that the team spent $93.5 million on payroll last year and would go up to that amount this season. Well, they did spend that much last season and are spending more this year than $86.5 million or so. But not all of that money went to players still here.
The M’s are still spending $4.5 million on Carlos Silva and another $1 million on Yuniesky Betancourt. Then, there is Dustin Ackley’s big league contract plus some incentives for Erik Bedard. The USA Today figures don’t factor in incentives.
Leaving Bedard out of it still takes you to roughly $93 million and change for Ackley, Silva and Betancourt.
But USA Today doesn’t count any of those players in its figures because none are on the Opening Day roster for Seattle.
Still, the fact that the two roster figures are so close leads you to believe the M’s really are spending almost exactly the same amount on this year’s team as they did a year ago. If Bedard lasts the season and hits some milestones, the amount could even go higher through incentives.
But then, of course, we’d almost certainly see some trades mid-season that could balance things out salary-wise.
If you missed Geoff Baker Live! earlier, we began the show by taking a look at the starting rotation, running down all five guys and looking at what’s needed.
Which Mariners player will hit the most home runs? Here’s my answer to a viewer who asked that question.
A discussion about the bench branched off into a discussion about Michael Saunders and how Ryan Langerhans is starting ahead of him in center field tonight.
Another viewer asked about the team’s closer situation. I explained why Brandon League got the closing assignment.

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