Mariners Could Be Nearing Payroll Limit

Mariners officials are signaling to agents and others in the industry that they could be nearing their payroll limit, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. Rosenthal opines that, if true, this makes the decision to spent the majority of their available funds on Robinson Cano shows that there was no plan in place for the Mariners.

Rosenthal adds that the Mariners could make exceptions "for the right player" and are continuing to discuss David Price with the Rays. Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports noted in yesterday's 10 Degrees column that the M's are softening on their stance that righty Taijuan Walker is off limits.

Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik appeared on MLB Network's Hot Stove this morning and addressed the issue directly when asked by Rosenthal:

"We're at a point where I think we are trying to do a few more things. I'm not sure that anything is going to be a huge splash. We have some options out there that we can either make a trade or could add another piece to it. I think that if we go for another large deal, that obviously is going to have to go above my head. And at this moment we are where we are, and we're trying to make things work with what we have."

In addition to Cano, the Mariners have also added Corey Hart on a one-year deal, re-signed Franklin Gutierrez and acquired Logan Morrison from the Marlins in exchange for Carter Capps. However, the addition of Cano and Hart certainly wouldn't seem to be enough to fix a team that finished 12th in the American League with 624 runs scored.

The Mariners have been linked to big-name free agents such as Nelson Cruz, Shin-Soo Choo and Kendrys Morales, but each of those players figure to command a sizable payday that now could be beyond Seattle's financial capabilities.


Leave a Reply

125 Comments on "Mariners Could Be Nearing Payroll Limit"


Bleed_Orange
1 year 7 months ago

The Mariners should trade for Chris Davis, he is cheep, 2 years of control, and the O’s have done well in the past in trades with them :)

Brandon Mason
1 year 7 months ago

and why would the O’s trade Davis.?

Bleed_Orange
1 year 7 months ago

Scott Boras client who won’t be retained. Value may never be higher then right now. Last year may have been a flash in the pan. O’s most likely don’t have the players to make a serious run at the world series. O’s have always said they want to use the Ray’s as a model for building their team, trading cost controlled stars has worked out pretty well for Tampa thus far. Just a few reasons that come to my mind why the thought of trading Davis could make sense.

Brandon Mason
1 year 7 months ago

Though you make some good points, I still don’t think the O’s would trade him.

Bleed_Orange
1 year 7 months ago

I don’t think he will be traded either, but it’s fun to think about the return that he could bring.

vtadave
1 year 7 months ago

Probably start with Walker and Franklin and go up from there.

Bleed_Orange
1 year 7 months ago

I was thinking Walker, Smoke, Akley (sp?), and 1 or 2 lower level guys. I don’t think any team gets Walker and Franklin

Seamaholic
1 year 7 months ago

Franklin’s really not worth that much. Check out his fWAR and defensive stats. M’s will end up giving him away for a prospect or maybe pitching depth.

gmarkf
1 year 7 months ago

Franklin has about 4 months big league experience. I’d wait a while before saying he’s not worth that much.

Ryan Graywacz
1 year 7 months ago

I don’t think the Orioles would trade the AL home run leader when they’re on the brink of being a competitor year in and year out.

Robert Mango
1 year 7 months ago

I think every other team in baseball should trade for him for that exact reason. Which means the O’s probably wouldn’t trade him….

Magorphenger
1 year 7 months ago

As shame this is even being reported as “news”

Brandon Mason
1 year 7 months ago

Cano will have to carry the team on his back. Which still won’t be enough

Jason Alcantara
1 year 7 months ago

i dont think the will pich to cano

Brandon Mason
1 year 7 months ago

Yeah they will because no one will be on base for him to drive in anyways.

Tim Bowers
1 year 7 months ago

Brad Miller, Kyle Seager, and Corey Hart bat 1-3, let’s say.

He doesn’t have runs to drive in there?

Brandon Mason
1 year 7 months ago

Just because they bat in front of him doesn’t mean they’ll always be on base for Cano to drive them in.

alphabet_soup5
1 year 7 months ago

Those 3 hitters project for .331 wOBA collectively in 2014. Hitters around that range from 2012-2013: Jon Jay, CoCo Crisp, A.J. Pierzynski, Anthony Rizzo, etc.

Decent but nothing to write about. Cano had a .384 wOBA last season, the last time a Mariner had an wOBA over .384 was Richie Seckson(mods) in 2005.

skrockij89
1 year 7 months ago

Rosenthal is a tool. He’s always bashing the M’s.

Danski
1 year 7 months ago

He’s still mad his Yank’s didn’t keep Cono

skrockij89
1 year 7 months ago

Exactly.

MadmanTX
1 year 7 months ago

Irrelevant if the story is true and the M’s only big move is to sign Cano. The Rangers made the same mistake when they splurged on A-Rod and this Cano signing is likely to work out just as well.

skrockij89
1 year 7 months ago

They only had 38 million committed before the cano signing. They haven’t passed last years payroll yet and mentioned to spend more than last year. Last time I checked there are two months left in the offseason. The M’s will make a few more moves before spring training.

jjs91
1 year 7 months ago

The rangers didn’t have a top system when they signed arod. Went out and overpaid for Park, and couldn’t develop any pitchers to help the team.

Magorphenger
1 year 7 months ago

And now look how bad they are…

MikeTroutForMayor
1 year 7 months ago

I have wondered where the Rangers would be these days if they had never made that Mark Teixeira trade with Atlanta. Seemed to be the turning point. Like the Garza trade for the Rays.

jjs91
1 year 7 months ago

I’m not sure what now has to do with a signing that took place way before. But okay.

alphabet_soup5
1 year 7 months ago

We’re talking about 2014, not 2001. $25m in 2001 was way more than it is today.

gammaraze
1 year 7 months ago

Out of curiosity, are 73 wins worth more in 2001 than they are in 2014?? Obviously, it appears that you missed the point. The point wasn’t that the Rangers spent $25M/year on A-Rod, but rather that they didn’t spend anything else on supporting pieces.

alphabet_soup5
1 year 7 months ago

A-Rod was 23.91% of the Rangers 2001 payroll, Cano is (so far) 35.14% of the Mariners 2014 payroll, so they should spend much more. If they choose not to build around Cano then they deserve to lose.

gammaraze
1 year 7 months ago

The majority of the Rangers payroll was already on the books. Prior to the A-Rod signing, they inked Caminiti, Galarraga, Petkovsek for a total of $11M; I wouldn’t exactly call building around him. Ruben Sierra was by far their best pick up other than A-Rod, and that was only a 1 year deal.

primi_timpano
1 year 7 months ago

Lots to bash.

AmericanMovieFan
1 year 7 months ago

Enjoy being wealthy but irrelevant, Cano. Could’ve been slightly less wealthy but relevant in NY, but whatever. Yes, I’m being a bitter Yankees fan.

BobMarley22
1 year 7 months ago

If you compare Seattle and New York team, one team isn’t much better than another. Wouldn’t you go to the team that is paying the most money. Cano will hardly be irrelevant.

Pete Harnisch
1 year 7 months ago

The Yankees are way better than the Mariners. Last season, the Yanks were 4 games above .500 in the toughest division in baseball while the Mariners were 10 games below .500. Historically, the Yankees have won 27 world series and the mariners have won ZERO. Cano will be irrelevant in Seattle.

CrustyJuggler
1 year 7 months ago

The Ms were actually 10 games under .500… not 20. Can’t fault you, I guess. Not many NY fans pay attention to anything that happens outside of the AL East.

Pete Harnisch
1 year 7 months ago

Fault my math skills, crusty

drwheelock
1 year 7 months ago

That’s why it’s soooo encouraging when we’ve seen so many NY fans paying attention to Seattle and what they do or don’t do!

alphabet_soup5
1 year 7 months ago

Let it sink in that the Royals won more games than the Yankees last year. The Kansas City Royals. Maybe Cano wanted to jump off the sinking ship.

Pete Harnisch
1 year 7 months ago

One year missing the playoffs and it is a sinking ship? I don’t think so.

alphabet_soup5
1 year 7 months ago

There’s a big difference between making the playoffs and winning a ring. The Yankees have a nice history, but have 1 ring since the 2001 season.

Pete Harnisch
1 year 7 months ago

And the M’s/royals have zero rings since 2001.

alphabet_soup5
1 year 7 months ago

True; but as of today I wouldn’t say the Yankees are ‘way better’ than the Mariners. Jacoby Ellsbury is projected to be the Yankees 3rd best hitter, which is kind of sad.

Pete Harnisch
1 year 7 months ago

The Yankees are better than the Mariners today. As an organization, looking at history, the Yankees are a “way” better organization.

Having a career .300 hitter as your third best is not “sad” in my humble opinion.

Taylor Hope
1 year 7 months ago

The 27 to 0 argument is a little bit slanted since the Yankees have been around 76 more years or whatever and have consistently had a much higher payroll than the M’s each year. Not saying the M’s have been a stellar franchise but c’mon.

EDIT: clarification

Pete Harnisch
1 year 7 months ago

Well, since the M’s have been in existence, the Yankees have won 7 WS Championships. Again, the M’s have won 0 WS championships.

Doug51
1 year 7 months ago

You mean, the Yankees have bought 5 WS and won two, don’t you? Last legit one was ’78. All the ones since then were about money.

Pete Harnisch
1 year 7 months ago

No, I don’t mean that! Spending money doesn’t guarantee championships. The Yankees drafted and developed the core 4…one may say that the recent championships were more about scouting, drafting and developing talent, and less about the money.

I understand that NY is the largest market and the Yankees spend the most money. However, there are two baseball teams in NY. How come the Mets haven’t spent as much as the Yankees? How come the Mets haven’t won since 1986? Boston spent almost as much as the Yankees and didn’t win for the longest time.

Nonetheless, my original point was that the Yankees are a better organization, whether they spent more money or not – they have the rings.

Doug51
1 year 7 months ago

Spending money does not guaranatee a championship, correct, however, statistical regressional analysis proves that money and playoff chances go hand in hand (despite those pesky A’s and Rays being so darn good at what they do).

The only year during the “core” years that the Yankees didn;t win? 1997, when they were beaten by the O’s (also the only year during the core run where the Yankees were beaten in payroll, not coincidentally), who were then in turn beaten by the ultimate travesty to buying a WS, Wayne Huizenga’s Marlins of 1997.

And how are they better? I thought you originally meant they were better now, which is an argument that could go either way, now that we have Cano. However, why does their history matter at all, really? Does anyone outside of Yankee fans actually care about their 27 championships? Seattle won 116 games in 2001, but no one outside of Seattle cares about that because it was in the past, and isn’t relevant anymore.

Pete Harnisch
1 year 7 months ago

I think the Yankees are better than the Mariners , even with Cano on the Mariners. We can compare numbers and projections all we want right now, but I’d put money on the Yanks winning more games than the M’s in 2014.

And the history of a franchise does matter (to me) when you bring up Cano’s “relevancy”. As a fan of the game, I think he’s more relevant on a team with a storied history, a team that is committed to winning (past and present). Now if the M’s win their first WS w/ Cano maybe that makes him more relevant, but I doubt it.

JTT11
1 year 7 months ago

Last time i checked, you don’t get a ring for winning 116 games.

Taylor Hope
1 year 7 months ago

Yes, and in this argument you address the years but don’t address the payroll which is still a very huge issue. The Yankees SHOULD win 7 WS Championships for every 1 that the M’s do from this point on, if not more.

monroe_says
monroe_says
1 year 7 months ago

The sad thing about Cano is that he would have actually made *more* money in New York for the next 7 years, as the Yankees reportedly were willing to go 7/175. Apparently Robinson didn’t have enough faith in his abilities to make up some of the overall 65 million dollar difference in his age 38-40 seasons … but at least, he’ll have Octobers off in Seattle. So he’s got that going for him.

John Kreese
1 year 7 months ago

How could he have made more money? His $240 mil will go a heck of a lot farther in Seattle (tax wise) than NY’s low ball offer ever could.

monroe_says
monroe_says
1 year 7 months ago

The AAV in NY was more. For the next 7 years at the reported 175 million, he would have been paid more in NY. True enough about the taxes, but it seems the players measure their egos about how much they’re paid, not how much they pay in taxes or what the cost of living in. Personally, I wouldn’t call the NY offer a lowball one. It was prudent and they’re better off not adding another ridiculous contract to their already bloated books.

alphabet_soup5
1 year 7 months ago

I believe he offered the Yankees a 225m deal with their pick of 8, 9, or 10 years. If they scoffed at that, I don’t blame him for leaving NY after seeing A-Rod, Tex, and even Jeter lose relevancy in the city.

goat
1 year 7 months ago

Problem with your theory is that he would make up the diffrence in endorsements in New York, get paid as much as in Seattle and be on a 3 year shorter contract.

John Kreese
1 year 7 months ago

Cano & Jay-Z must not have thought that to be true or they would have taken a Yankee offer. Believe it or not, a lot of players aren’t worried about their “legacy” & want the guaranteed financial comfort.

Pete Harnisch
1 year 7 months ago

I’m pretty sure $170 million would guarantee financial comfort.

alphabet_soup5
1 year 7 months ago

Imagine that someone offers you $170m for 10 years, and someone else offers you $240m for 10 years, for the same job.

Pete Harnisch
1 year 7 months ago

Like Cano, I would take the extra $. My point was, to say $170 million wouldn’t guarantee financial comfort is a JOKE.

alphabet_soup5
1 year 7 months ago

You say 3-year shorter contract like it’s a good thing. I know in 2017 A-Rod should not be seeing MLB time, but he will thanks to that contract. Same for Pujols in 2021, and Cano in 2023.

Cano knows in his heart that he’s not a godly hitter like A-Rod or Pujols, and he won’t be nearly as valuable if he hit the market after 7 seasons.

alphabet_soup5
1 year 7 months ago

To be an MLB player at all makes someone at least slightly relevant, there are only 750 active players on Earth if using 25-man rosters.

maqman
1 year 7 months ago

They are under the $95M they budgeted for payroll last year, but did not spend. They said there would be an increase this year. If not then they lied. They need more than what they have so far, but not at the cost of Walker.

Expos '94 World Champs
1 year 7 months ago

You mean giving a 31-year old a 10-year, $240 mi. contract with no lineup support showed that there was no plan in place? Gee, I had no idea Ken.

Robert Mango
1 year 7 months ago

If this is true, that cano signing should have their GM fired….really, you entire budget was spent on 1 player when you were a last place team? And couldn’t hit, so you added 1 bat, and sitll have at least 6 other positions that couldn’t hit the ball of a tee last year? Who’s playing 1B? or SS? Or all three OFs? Or C? Corey Hart and Logan Morrison aren’t exact names that strike fear into opposing pitchers. Nor are Smoak and Montero.

MadmanTX
1 year 7 months ago

Ownership has to take most of the blame if they approved/instigated the signing. I expect my prediction that Cano will be traded with a huge chunk of his remaining salary paid by the M’s in 3-4 years. Maybe less.

Rook
1 year 7 months ago

You can’t put the Cano contract on the GM. The owner approved it. If he knew he was going to pull the plug on spending, it’s his fault for giving the okay to get Cano.

gobs05
1 year 7 months ago

So how did we go from 100+mil in payroll possibly to a flat 80? I just don’t get it. Yesterday there was talk if Santana and Cruz, today, pinching pennies?

Patrick Beliveau
1 year 7 months ago

they are at about 95 mil right now with all the signings… but thats still well off the 117 peak they had in 2008… and now they are owned by Nintendo… this is most likely just posturing. Why? Who knows… its the Mariners…

Rook
1 year 7 months ago

I think the M’s need to sign Garza and hold on to Walker.

K.K. Kilmister
1 year 7 months ago

Steve, the last sentence of the first paragraph needs to be rewritten. Take your time in writing and proofreading. If it means a click or two for ads are missed, concentrate on quality instead.

“Rosenthal opines that, if true, this makes the decision to spent the majority of their available funds on Robinson Cano shows that there was no plan in place for the Mariners.”

John Kreese
1 year 7 months ago

“I’m not sure that anything is going to be a huge splash.”

A huge splash is pretty subjective. With the market for guys line Choo & Cruz not developing fully yet & pitchers like Santana, Ubaldo, etc out there who knows what will happen. The M’s still have some pieces (Franklin, Ackley, Smoak) that teams could want so a trade is always a possibility too.

Pei Kang
1 year 7 months ago

The Ms might as well bite the bullet on Price, why else go after Cano? Or they should sign another hitter to support Cano. A second tier guy like Cruz, or someone similar.

RealisticMariner
1 year 7 months ago

Good M’s should not sign any of the FA’s left on the market. All are overrated and overpriced. They should trade for a player like Colby Rasmus and a #3 starter. And of course acquire some bullpen help somewhere. Then they can cross their fingers and hope for a 3rd place finish

1 year 7 months ago

Bullseye! Let it percolate for a season. Don’t panic and sign overrated free agents. Don’t trade away the future for a two year Price rental. Let’s see what those talented but inexperienced guys have this season and then move accordingly. Patience my friends.If the right deal or signing comes along, take it, otherwise stand pat.

alphabet_soup5
1 year 7 months ago

Isn’t their OF pretty full with Hart/Ackley/Morrison/Guti/Saunders?

RealisticMariner
1 year 7 months ago

If you call that an outfield. If you are going poor defensively the returns should be good offensively. Not poor on D and O.

Danski
1 year 7 months ago

Z is not going to show his hand, Rosenthal doesn’t like that someone else reported Cono’s signing before he did and he’s head over heals in love with the Yankee’s. Mariners will do much more this Winter IMO. GO HAWKS!!!!!

Mike Blowers
1 year 7 months ago

Go Hawks!

macdice
1 year 7 months ago

Just GM talk. Try to create the illusion that they don’t have any more money to spend to try and drive the price down.

Expos '94 World Champs
1 year 7 months ago

The Mariners didn’t learn from their division rivals, the Angels. Giving contracts out for that length to someone over 30 will kill them sooner than later. They might only get three years of solid productivity from him before it all goes south. Yankee Stadium isn’t there to pad some of his numbers anymore. That no-trade clause means they’ll be stuck with him for the sour years of the contract. Either that, or nobody will want him.

See: Pujols, Albert; Hamilton, Josh

alphabet_soup5
1 year 7 months ago

The contract will be a sunk cost but it probably won’t kill them…the Yankees are just fine with A-Rod making 20m+ for the next four seasons.

etplante
1 year 7 months ago

Are you seriously comparing the Ms to the Yankees? New York’s payroll was close to triple that of Seattle last year so yeah they can more easily afford an albatross like Arod.

$3513744
1 year 7 months ago

i think his important point is about it sinking a franchise. it’s kind of a legitimate point too because we all keep saying that it will someday kill the franchise. but honestly look back to all the bad contracts out there. how many of those franchises got killed?

wwbaker3
1 year 7 months ago

SPEND. The team has regional sports network dollars rolling in, play in a taxpayers-funded palace, and still operating with an early 2000s payroll. Not my money. Spend!

Patrick Beliveau
1 year 7 months ago

They are also owned by Nintendo, and are currently about 25 million shy of their peak budget from 2008… they arent done, and this is probably being released to drive down the price on some guys .

wwbaker3
1 year 7 months ago

That may be the negotiation tactic. That said, these are the Mariners with the broken business model. I wouldn’t be surprised that they’re done with the Cano PR afterglow.

Ron Loreski
1 year 7 months ago

Already handcuffed by Cano…hahahah I love it

harmony55
1 year 7 months ago

Ken Rosenthal apparently would prefer a costly long-term contract for 33-year-old outfielder Nelson Cruz, whom Steamer projects at 1.6 WAR and Oliver at 2.6 WAR next season, to a one-year, $6 million (plus incerntives) contract for 31-year-old Corey Hart, who is projected at 2.2 and 1.5 WAR.
I am embarrassed for Ken Rosenthal.
Rosenthal also apparently thinks the Seattle Mariners need a closer despite the presence of 26-year-old cost-controlled closer Danny Farquhar, who in his final 28 appearances this year posted a 1.72 ERA, with 43 strikeouts and 11 walks in 31.1 innings, holding opponents to a .150/.229/.187/.416 line.