Mariners Insider

A quick look at the contract statuses for Mariners players

Post by Ryan Divish on Oct. 8, 2012 at 11:26 pm with 5 Comments »
October 9, 2012 11:33 am

Jeff Evans of the Mariners was kind enough to send out the contract statuses for the players on the current 40-man roster. Here’s a breakdown of what you need to know for 2013.

Also you can also look at Cot’s Baseball Contracts for some contract details …. that site is awesome.

Under Contract:

$8.5 million guaranteed for next season? Yep, life is fair. (AP photo)

  • Dustin Ackley (signed through 2014) — $1.5 million in 2013
  • Chone Figgins (signed through 2013/2014 option) — $8.5 million in 2013
  • Franklin Gutierrez (signed thru 2013/2014 option) — $7.313 million in 2013
  • Felix Hernandez (signed through 2014) – $20.7 million in 2013
  • Danny Hultzen (signed through 2016) – $1.7 million in 2013
  • Miguel Olivo (2013 option) – Club option of $3 million in 2013.

Notes: The Mariners owe Olivo $750,000 in signing bonus regardless if they keep him or not. The reason Ackley and Hultzen are under contract was that they signed big league contracts as top picks. Teams can no longer do that under the new collective bargaining agreement. It would seem unlikely that Olivo’s option will be picked up, but stranger things have happened. Chone Figgins doesn’t want to be in Seattle anymore. Most Mariners fans don’t want him in Seattle. If he’s somehow on this team next season, well, then I just don’t know anything I thought about baseball.

Arbitration Eligible:

The late-game heroics and the beard are worth a few extra thousand alone (AP photo)

  • John Jaso: 1st year arbitration eligible – made $495,200 in 2012
  • Shawn Kelley: 1st year arbitration eligible – made $600,000 in 2012
  • Josh Kinney: 1st year arbitration eligible – made the MLB minimum in 2012
  • Brendan Ryan: 3rd year arbitration eligible – made $1.75 million in 2012
  • Jason Vargas: 3rd year arbitration eligible – made $4.85 million in 2012

Notes: Jaso and Kelley will be pretty reasonable to sign to one-year contracts to avoid arbitration. Despite Ryan’s anemic offensive numbers, he was still one of the three best defensive shortstops in baseball. And right now, the Mariners don’t have another option at shortstop. Neither Carlos Triunfel or Nick Franklin appears to be ready. The big question is Vargas. His salary has doubled almost every season he’s been arbitration eligible. So Seattle could be looking at something around $8 or $9 million. The other option would be to sign Vargas to a multi-year extension of some sort to lower that number … maybe 3 years at $20 million. It’s not a ton of money and Vargas has been decent for the Mariners – mostly at home. Obviously, the dimension changes aren’t exactly beneficial to him. But if you look at Seattle’s returning starters, there are reasons to keep Vargas. Of course, you could also find a cheaper version of Vargas, who isn’t as prone to home run balls, on the free agent market for a one-year deal. Kinney is a guy that I think the Mariners non-tender. Yes, he saw plenty of appearances late in the season after being called up, but there are enough arms in the organization to let him go, and possibly re-sign him to a minor league contract.

Potential Free Agent:

One of Iwakuma's quicker pitching moments (AP photo)

  • Hisashi Iwakuma
  • Kevin Millwood
  • Miguel Olivo (if 2013 option is not picked up)
  • Oliver Perez
  • George Sherrill

Notes: Iwakuma and Perez would be the only two to really interest me. Sherrill isn’t healthy and needs to sign a minor league contract to prove it. Millwood is a last resort type of pitcher to round out your rotation. I thought Iwakuma showed the ability to pitch at the big league level. Yes, he works slower than molasses at times. But his strikeout percentage went up, he had a ground ball percentage of 52.2 percent wasn’t terrible and he showed some ability to pitch deep in games. He would likely be a cheap and effective option for the starting rotation. Perez was pretty solid for a minor league pickup, and a pitcher that was basically tossed on the trash heap. Last year was his first as a reliever and he had some very bright moments. The fastball velocity which averaged around 93.7 but touched 97-98 at times was a surprise. He was also equally effective against righties. Is he a priority? No. But he could be an effective reliever for the right price.

Pre-Arbitration and under team control:

Being under club control and making less than $1 million a year are a few reasons why Justin Smoak will likely be back next season. (AP photo)

  • Blake Beavan
  • Carter Capps
  • Mike Carp
  • Charlie Furbush
  • Luis Jimenez
  • Munenori Kawasaki
  • Alex Liddi
  • Lucas Luetge
  • Francisco Martinez
  • Yoervis Medina
  • D.J. Mitchell
  • Jesus Montero
  • Hector Noesi
  • Carlos Peguero
  • Stephen Pryor
  • Erasmo Ramirez
  • Trayvon Robinson
  • Mauricio Robles
  • Chance Ruffin
  • Michael Saunders (possible Super 2)
  • Kyle Seager
  • Justin Smoak
  • Eric Thames
  • Carlos Triunfel
  • Casper Wells
  • Tom Wilhelmsen

Notes: None of these players on here made more than $500,000 last season. It was thought that Noesi was out of minor league options years. However, thanks to Jeff Evans – baseball info guru of the Mariners – he alerted me to the fact that Noesi has been granted a fourth-option year..  From his email … A player may be eligible for a fourth option year if he has been optioned in three seasons but does not yet have five full seasons of professional experience. A full season is defined as being on an active pro roster for at least 90 days in a season. (If a player is put on the disabled list after earning 60 or more days of service in a single season, his time on the DL is counted.) The 90-day requirement means short-season leagues (New-York Penn, Northwest, Pioneer, Appalachian, Gulf Coast, Arizona Rookie, Dominican and Venezuelan Summer Leagues) do not count as full seasons for the purposes of determining eligibility for a fourth option.

It’s kind of big because the odds of Noesi making the team out of spring training were slim and the Mariners would have had to outright him making him open to waiver claims. Some team might have claimed him based simply on his talent. Do I think Noesi will ever be a consistent starter in the big leagues? I’m starting to have my doubts. But organizations need depth. And he provides that. Who knows, maybe he will figure it out and finally focus on what it takes to be good on the mound.

Out of Minor League Options & under 2013 team control:

Trayvon Robinson made some exciting catches, but the overall consistency on defense and his throwing arm can be issues. (AP photo)

  • Mike Carp
  • Franklin Gutierrez
  • Josh Kinney
  • Trayvon Robinson
  • Brendan Ryan
  • Jason Vargas
  • Casper Wells

Notes: This really only applies to Carp, Robinson and Wells, who are not necessarily locks to make the team out of spring training. Wells and Robinson seem to be no more than fourth outfielders with limitations – defense for Robinson and consistency for Wells. Carp could be caught in a numbers game at first base, particularly if the Mariners bring in any free agents. He simply didn’t do enough this season to be assured of a spot. If they don’t make the 25-man roster, they would have to be outrighted and open to waiver claims. However, you can play with the process by outrighting them late in spring training when teams’ 40-man rosters are basically full.


Leave a comment Comments → 5
  1. Palerydr says:

    I would offer Figgins to every GM in BB until I found a taker. To sweeten the deal I would add any combination of Carp/Wells/Robinson and a pitching prospect that it took to get rid of the guy.

    I would Sign Iwakuma to a 2 year deal with a club option for year 2 to keep him hungry. I feel he could fill Millwoods spot in the rotation. I like Ryans style he just needs to get his swing back. I would love for him to hit .250 with some doubles power. I would also have him work on his bunting this off season. Hell I would tell every hitter on the team to work on bunting as poorly as they did this past year. Jaso isn’t a great defensive catcher but hey until Zunino shows up he’s as good as Montero I would sign him to a 3 year deal. I cannot in anyway possible see them bring back Olivo.

    Vargas is as you say a pitcher who gives up the long ball his value goes down with the fences moving in. I might sign him but certainly not for ridiculous(anything over 7 mil a year avg) money.

    LH middle/set up relievers who get LH hitters out consistently can have a long career I would certainly bring back Perez. guys like Kinney and Kelly are dime a dozen so I agree with your thoughts on them. Guti is a guy who frankly I’m really disappointed in. He has the look of a part time player starting against LH and as a late inn defensive replacement. If that’s his role he’s awful expensive.

    Lastly the guy I want is David Wright. Ackley could play LF as well as Carp/Robinson/Wells I know they spent a ton of time having him learn 2b where he appears to be avg/above avg defensively. Adding a veteran RBI guy to the middle of the lineup to me is more important than having Ackley adjust to LF which is a much easier position to learn.

  2. Pabco33333 says:

    Great job breaking it down. Might want to edit your “Notes” as it looks like you left out a couple of words.

    So where does this project as far as total salaries and what will the budget be? That is the big question. How much will be available to spend on FA (although there aren’t many quality ones out there) or on salaries acquired in a trade?

  3. That is the great unknown Pabco … no one is quite sure if the Mariners will continue the trend of cutting costs. If they were to keep the same payroll level as last season they would have around 30 million to spend for this season. It’s anyone’s guess if the Mariners will trim their payroll budget, keep it the same or add to it with the changes to Safeco Field.

  4. bbnate420 says:

    Palerydr, I think you could offer Bilbo to every GM in baseball 10 times over and you wouldn’t find a taker. I would be okay with them making a trade like you suggested as long as that pitching prospect didn’t have the last name of Hultzen, Paxton, Walker, Capps, or Pryor. I doubt anyone would do that without the M’s picking up 90+ % of Bilbo’s salary, which defeats the point. The best they can hope for IMO is that someone will cover 10 % or less of his salary and give us one garbage prospect.

    The best thing to do with Vargas might be to just go to arbitration. Then you have a year to see how he fairs in the new Safeco and how the Big Three develop in 2013. Iwakuma was more impressive in 2012 to me, but he doesn’t have the track record that Vargas has. I really hope they bring Iwakuma back, especially if he is cheap as you project.

  5. Iwakuma played this past season for $1.5MM, plus up to $3.4MM in incentives based on games and/or innings pitched, totaling up to $4.9MM potential cost. He did well enough to prove he can pitch in The Show. Other clubs are well aware of this and there is always a demand for proven rotation pitchers, so he will not lack suitors other than the M’s. He supposedly likes Seattle but I doubt he would turn down a deal that pays him years/millions more or from a contender to stay in Seattle.

    Matt Swartz on MLTR’s Arbitration Projections page thinks Vargas will get $7.4MM. (Swartz specializes in these projections and is pretty good at it.) I’d rather spend that money on keeping Iwakuma myself. They could non-tender him and sign him for less possibly or sign him to a 2 or 3 year deal for $5-$6MM average annual value.

    Jaso is projected at $1.7MM and Ryan at $2.3MM. Saunders looks to be one day short of Super Two status, if he does qualify he’s looking at $1.6MM according to Swartz.

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