The Seattle Mariners’ payroll will approach $120 million for Monday’s opener against the Los Angeles Angels, according to salary figures obtained by The Associated Press.
Right-handed pitcher Felix Hernandez will be the highest-paid Mariner at $24,857,143, followed closely by second baseman Robinson Cano at $24 million. Designated hitter Nelson Cruz is third at $14.5 million.
The Associated Press pegs the Mariners’ payroll at $119,798,060, which ranks 12th among the 30 clubs. A year ago, the same survey listed the Mariners at $92,081,943, which ranked 18th.
The 2015 salaries for Hernandez and Cano rank among the 10 highest in baseball. Three other teams have two of the 10 highest-paid players:
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• Los Angeles Dodgers with pitchers Clayton Kershaw ($31 million) and Zack Greinke ($27 million). Kershaw’s salary is the highest in the game.
• Los Angeles Angels with outfielder Josh Hamilton ($25.4 million) and first baseman Albert Pujols ($24 million).
• Philadelphia Phillies with first baseman Ryan Howard ($25 million) and pitcher Cliff Lee ($25 million).
The Associated Press admits its figures are not exact because contract details are often closely guarded. It determined salaries through public and private reports and accounted for prorated bonuses and deferred money.
Club totals are not necessarily the sum of their players’ salaries because of cash transactions. For example: Toronto is paying a portion of J.A. Happ’s salary under terms of the trade that brought him to the Mariners.
The minimum salary for 2015 is $507,500 if the player remains on the major league roster for the entire season.