For those wondering about just how much the Seattle Mariners have to spend this off-season, there's been a little confusion.
The estimate here for what the team has available has been aproximately $25 million - $9 million of which they've spent on free agent Chone Figgins.
Much has been made of the nearly $50 million in '09 salary shed with the departures of Miguel Batista, Erik Bedard, Adrian Beltre, Kenji Johjima, Jarrod Washburn and others.
The math is relatively simple: Five players - Ichiro, Carlos Silva, Figgins, Jack Wilson and Bill Hall will be paid about $44 million. Felix Hernandez made $3.8 million while winning 19 games and is due a raise - and the Mariners figure to boost him beyond the $5 million level.
That's about $50 million accounted for.
Ian Snell, Ken Griffey Jr. and Jose Lopez, that's another 9.5 million, and you're right at $60 million. Dustin Ackley is $1.5 million next year, and then you get to the rest of the roster, all of whom made less than $500,000 a man last season.
But figure David Aardsma and Franklin Gutierrez are due big raises. And Brandon Morrow, Garrett Olson, Ryan Rowland-Smith, Mak Lowe, Shawn Kelley, Mike Carp, Jack Hannahan, Rob Johnson and Sean White will all get more in 2010 than in 2009.
Now, you're over $70 million.
Toss in big-league minimum salaries ($400,000) for rookies like Michael Saunders, Matt Tuiasosopo, Adam Moore and Doug Fister. Add in small raises for Shawn Kelley, Doug French,Jason Vargas, Ryan Langerhans ... you're close to $75 million.
Like all teams, Seattle will set aside a certain amount of money to be spent during the season and at the trade deadline to add payroll to the roster - and take care of incentive clauses that players meet. Say $8-$10 million. Things happen, teams must plan for them.
You're close to $85 million now. The team spent $98 million in 2009, and says their budget be about the same in 2010.
That leaves about $15 million for general manager Jack Zduriencik to spend - more if he delves into the money budgeted for in-season additions.
With that money, he has to get a starting first baseman, wants to add a veteran starting pitcher, find a designated hitter, maybe even a left fielder.
Think it's easy? That's the budget. Feel free to play with it and toss out ideas on where to cut or spend more.
Now, some links:
- J.J. Putz is being courted by the White Sox, Cubs, Diamondbacks, Rangers, Nationals and Tigers.
- The Washington Nationals needed a catcher and wanted to excite their fans, and they've signed future Hall of Famer Ivan Rodriguez to a two-year, $6 million contract.
- Reliever and former Mariner Rafael Soriano surprised the Atlanta Braves - who had signed closer Billy Wagner - by accepting arbitration. He stands to make $7-$8 million.
- Overnight, the Yankees, Diamondbacks and Tigers were working on a deal that would have involved seven players and sent Curtis Granderson to New York, Edwin Jackson and Ian Kennedy to Arizona and a boatload of prospects to Detroit. Apparently, it fell apart this morning.
- If the Angels believe Foxsports.com they're probably paranoid. It's reported the Mariners are after John Lackey and Darren Oliver, and says the team can sign both pitchers and a 'slugging left fielder' with the money available.
- Baltimore requested and received the medical records of left-hander Erik Bedard, and will likely offer him a deal.
- Cleveland is shopping closer Kerry Wood and his $10.5 million salary. The response, thus far, has been underwhelming.