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October 4, 2014 at 4:33 PM

A few quick notes on the Mariners’ payroll for 2015

Sorry about the brief hiatus. I wasn’t on a beach, but I had a family matter.

There’s been a fair a mount of discussion about the 2015 payroll. General manager Jack Zduriencik said on Tuesday that payroll was expected to go up.

Kevin Mather was in studio at ESPN 710 on Thursday. He also said the same thing. Here’s a great wrap-up of his interview from Brady Henderson.

From the interview …

“I just blew by a budgeted number and we spent $107 million on player payroll and not one owner said, ‘Well, what the heck’s going on here?’ ” Mather said. “They’re fans and they seemed extremely pleased with the competitive nature of the games and September, meaningful baseball, and not one of them has said, ‘What are we going to do to get that $16 million back?’ They were all saying, ‘What are you going to do to get us six more wins next year?’ “

So you’ve got the GM and president saying the payroll is going to go up. It’s steadily increased the past few seasons. As for the $107 million that Mather mentioned, it’s actually $106.7 million –  here’s a breakdown of where that number comes from.

  • 40-man roster dollars for 55 players — $95.7 million
  • Performance bonuses/awards for 8 players — $5.1 million
  • Pro-rated signing bonuses for three players — $4 million
  • Buyouts for three players — $1.9 million
  • And we arrive at$ 106.7 million

What does it all mean? Well with attendance up by 300,000 fans this season, there is additional dollars, which Mather pointed out. And also the Mariners know that there is a window of a few seasons to make a really big push.

Obviously, Victor Martinez fits their needs. But it will be a massive investment, easily over $15 million a season for at least four seasons. Not much else on the free agent market fits for hitters, but they also need to add a pitcher. It’s likely any “bat” they would acquire would come with a large-sized contract.

The Mariners have over $48 million committed to Felix Hernandez and Robinson Cano next season.  They also have a few guys reaching arbitration eligibility. But they still have some flexibility particularly with added dollars.

Does more money mean success? No. Does it help? Yes.  Should they do it? Of course, there is no reason not to do it. They have the money. They should invest more into the team. That’s my hard-hitting analysis for the day.

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