Lowering expectations

DMZ · October 7, 2004 at 1:58 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

The Mariners are into this already, using Pocket Lint to spread the word that they don’t actually have that much money after all, so we shouldn’t expect a couple of impact signings.

We’ve complained about this in the past here, so I’ll spare everyone the full fury of my anger, but the M’s do this every season. Oh, we’re spending (actual number+crazy wacky number=claimed number) in salary, oh, it’s so hard for us, what with making more money than 26 other teams in baseball and raking in so much at the stadium we actually don’t even bother to haul bills under 20 out at the end of each game. They constantly exaggerate the amount they’re spending relative to other teams, and every year they try and make it seem like they’ve really gone the extra mile to

Like last year. The routine was:
We’re going to spend $90m. Maybe $92. That’s how generous we are.
Now with Sasaki out, we have more money to spend mid-season.
Actually, not. Hee hee.
And by the way, the money we budgeted for payroll that we didn’t spend? It goes away at the end of the year.

That they’re starting this early, though — wow. That’s depressing. I was hopeful they really were going to step up, sign Beltre, sign Clement/Pavano/someone, really make a run at shoring up the foundation of the team. They’re already trying to talk me down from my optimism. That sorta sucks.


50 Responses to “Lowering expectations”

  1. Morisseau on October 7th, 2004 2:14 pm

    what’s the source on all that ? bymmer.

  2. Mike Thompson on October 7th, 2004 2:17 pm

    Couldn’t agree more Derek. We’ll probably end up with Veritek, Lowell and Lowe before this is all said and done *PUKE*.

    I also wish every reporter would quit saying that Dan Wilson is nearly an absolute lock to come back. Unless it’s at $750,000 then there are surely replacement level players around to fill his shoes. Speaking of which, if you are a parent, raise your kid as a catcher.

  3. Jerry on October 7th, 2004 2:23 pm


    I imagine that you are talking about that lame article by Bob Finnegan that says that the M’s only have 20-22 million to spend. Did Lincoln actually state that they had less than 30 million to spend? If so, I would like to know the details.

    I have no idea how Finnegan came to this conclusion. I was so pissed off about that article that I sent him an email saying that the money available should be closer to 30 million. Here was my math:

    Players currently signed in 2005:
    Ichiro $11 million
    Bret Boone $9 million
    Eddie Guardado $4.5 million
    Joel Pineiro $4.5 million
    Raul Ibanez $3.75 million
    Randy Winn $3.75 million
    S. Hasegawa $2.95 million
    Scott Spiezio $3.1 million
    Ryan Franklin $2.5 million
    Jamie Moyer $3 million*
    Cirillo/Wiki $7 million

    *Not sure about incentived in Moyer’s contract. He could get more than this.

    Total: 55.05 million

    Now, I’m not the smartest man on earth, but 55 in current salaries and a total 2005 payroll of 95 million (88 million + 7 contingency cash) equals 33 million in free payroll. Even if Moyer gets incentives that I don’t know about (which will be less than 4.5 million, lets say 4 million), that still leaves 29 million to spend. There aren’t that many other players who are going to get raises:

    Team options
    Jolbert Cabrera $1.5 million

    Arbritation decisions:
    Meche (probably will get 2-4 million)
    Bloomquist (anything over 500k would be hard to believe)

    Those only add another 5 million. So I still don’t know where Finnegan comes up with 20 million. Even if the M’s bring back all the players listed above, plus resign Villone for 2 million (too much), they still have more than that.

    DMZ, I share your concerns about this media spin starting this early. Can’t they at least let us be optimistic for a month? I hope that Finnegan and the media don’t put up with any more of this crap. And I hope that the public doesn’t believe any more of Lincolns crap. If anything, the M’s should overspend that 95 million figure. They owe it to us for all this BS. Since they have another 25 million coming off the books next year, they can afford to overspend a little, then cut back next year if need be.

  4. rcc on October 7th, 2004 2:26 pm

    I am convinced that what the Mariners want the public to believe is that “they want to win” AND “will do everything they can to make you think this is true”. This is really a two part plan. To accomplish this they satisfy # 1 by repeatedly and earnestly claiming they “want to win”. However, their failure is do everything they can to make this happen, because the reality is that they do everything they can to make the fan THINK they are doing everything. That is why the press releases have been written as to why they will not sign any of the players that the Blog community has identified….instead it will be….Beltran, Beltre, etc. want too much $$$., too many years, or are not good clubhouse guys, and instead to satisfy the second element they will sign a Spezio like player or two, and hope for the best. I think the Mariners will suck next year and finish last in their division. The spin will focus on the new manager, and how the fans should give the new guy a chance to produce, but I believe nothing much will happen….sort of like shuffling the chairs on the Titantic. The ship sinks anyway by the end of the movie.

  5. vaujot on October 7th, 2004 2:30 pm

    I recall Dave commenting a while back that the Mariners will do things differently, this time, and we should expect positive surprises. Dave, do you still believe that ? If so, would you mind sharing some insight on this ?

  6. Rob on October 7th, 2004 2:36 pm

    If the m’s use this fuzzy math again…..

    What pisses me off is the excuses of player x contract still on the book. Well when you made the decision to dump him and cut him loose. You knew you would have to pay for it in the end, don’t use that to say you can’t spend as much money since you made a mistake in the past.

  7. Xteve X on October 7th, 2004 2:41 pm

    It seems the Ms management doesn’t realize just how precarious their position is with the fanbase. I don’t say this to offend, but Seattle sports fans are notoriously fickle. I think without a pretty big splash (or two, or three) in free agency many people will be staying away in droves next year.

    Of course, one would think the same would apply for this season, yet the M’s attendance was still among the league leaders, IIRC. So in a sense no wonder they treat the fans like chumps. The collective “we” are still attending games and buying tickets no matter badly the product on the field stinks.

  8. Jerry on October 7th, 2004 2:44 pm

    Again, is this coming from Lincoln or Bob Finnegan. If Finnegan is the one who can’t do math, that is fine. But if this crap is coming from Lincoln, that is a problem.

  9. Brent Overman on October 7th, 2004 2:45 pm

    Believe it that attendance will diminish, just as they did for the Seahawks in the Behring era. With the Seahawks on the way up, they’re going to steal this town back, much like the Mariners did from them, only for the Mariners to start crying poverty all over.

    Any chance this could lead to the exit of Lincoln as CEO?

  10. Dave on October 7th, 2004 2:51 pm

    Finnigan wrote the article. Finnigan quoted no one. Finnigan gave no indication that his words came from anyone connected with the team. It ran contrary to everything I’ve been told and experienced the past few months; the organization has changed. One column from Bob Finnigan doesn’t change that.

  11. joebob on October 7th, 2004 2:54 pm

    God I hope your right Dave

  12. Flavor Flav on October 7th, 2004 2:54 pm

    The good thing about the decreasing attendence is that it makes it easier to get batting practice balls.

  13. Paul Molitor Cocktail on October 7th, 2004 2:55 pm

    It ran contrary to everything I’ve been told and experienced the past few months; the organization has changed.

    I will believe it when I see it.

    I would be more willing to bet that the FO will continue to sign B-grade players and continue mentioning “the Cirillo money” than they will suddenly change and sign a Pavano or a Beltran.

    Lincoln has proven himself again and again to lie about the team’s profitability and lie about what they are willing to do to win.

    Why should any of us believe him now?

  14. joebob on October 7th, 2004 2:57 pm

    I posted this in another string, but I thought it would be appropriate here too. In my mind the mariners have the following options:

    1) spend 20 million on free agency, get a team that maybe is .500, draw 2 million fans, take a loss

    2) spend 30-40 million on free agency, get a team that competes for the playoffs, draw 3+ million fans, break even or take a small loss

    It seems to me that the correct course is pretty obvious

  15. eponymous coward on October 7th, 2004 2:58 pm

    The source article is here, folks:


    The thing is that Pocket Lint has a nice long history of these sorts of articles (he wrote ones in 2003 and 2002 that also downplayed what the team would do in free agnecy that proved to be spot-on), and one of the dirty little secrets of the baseball press is stories like this, with specific salary numbers being leaked out, are ALWAYS sourced by team management wearing funny nose and glasses.

  16. bob mong on October 7th, 2004 3:01 pm

    You gotta love that article…some choice quotes:

    Dan Wilson, virtually a must-return free agent unless the Mariners can coax Jason Varitek to come back as a free agent, might be behind the plate.


    If money gets tight, Seattle could go for: Minnesota’s Corey Koskie at third, a winner like Spiezio was until this year […]


    Once beyond Villone, whom the Mariners will try hard to re-sign, candidates for Seattle could be the likes of Derek Lowe, who pitched at times better than his Boston numbers showed, Brad Radke, Eric Milton, Matt Clement and Cory Lidle.


    The Mariners certainly won’t deal Madritsch, whose work in the majors put him on the same can’t-miss level as super prospect Felix Hernandez


    It is unknown if Seattle has enough to bring in the likes of Tampa Bay’s Aubrey Huff or Arizona’s Shea Hillenbrand.

    How about this:

    Using more Mariners-like sensibility, they might try Omar Vizquel again. The Wiz has wanted back to Seattle for some time and showed he is healthy with a solid 2004 season.

    Shea Hillenbrand? Ron Villone? Omar Vizquel? Derek Lowe? Cory Lidle? Corey Koskie? Dan Wilson is a “must-return”? Bobby Madritsch=Felix Rodriguez? What is he smoking?

  17. joebob on October 7th, 2004 3:01 pm

    This could also be a trial balloon on the part of the mariners to see what kind of response they get from fans. If so, I encourage everyone to bombard them with messages detailing your outrage.

  18. Paul Molitor Cocktail on October 7th, 2004 3:03 pm

    If Shea Hillenbrand and Corey Lidle are their ideas of good signings, how low will the season ticket sales be this year?

    15K? 10K?

  19. Flavor Flav on October 7th, 2004 3:05 pm

    What do you guys think they are spending the money on?

  20. joebob on October 7th, 2004 3:06 pm

    A personality transplant for Howard Lincoln

  21. tede on October 7th, 2004 3:06 pm

    DMZ, you got this one nailed.

    Lincoln’s posturing in the season ticketholder’s letter and in the Thiel interview is to prevent him from leaving by shifting focus (and future blame) onto Bavasi.

    #8 Jerry, I disagree. Pocket Lint’s source has go to be somebody pre-Bavasi perhaps Lee Pelokoudas or Chuck Armstrong. It sounds like somebody is countering Lincoln’s pie-in-the-sky spending claims with Thiel. I think Lincoln’s knowledge of details of salaries and other personnel information isn’t very good. He’s Mr. Corporate vision guy.
    #2 Mike Thompson – Until Miguel Olivo can prove he can hit even replacement level against right handers and catch at the replacement level, then Wilson’s got a gig as an overpaid backup. btw, Raul Chavez, former Tacoma replacement level catcher got a HR today for Houston.
    …and if you’re falling for the Rizz/Melvin line that they will teach Olivo how to catch in spring training….Instruction during last years spring training didn’t do too much for Ben Davis’s or Wiki Gonzalez’s situations did it? Welcome back to the 1980s M’s. All we need is Frank Funk to throw Olivo’s glove in the toilet the next time he allows a passed ball.

  22. Paul Molitor Cocktail on October 7th, 2004 3:08 pm

    What do you guys think they are spending the money on?

    The dancers at the Lusty Lady?

  23. eponymous coward on October 7th, 2004 3:18 pm

    I’ll also note Bavasi’s quotes and imagine some followups:

    “Anything we do,” said general manager Bill Bavasi, who this week is leading organizational meetings in Peoria, Ariz., “will not just be for next season, but with an eye to 2005, 2006 and 2007.

    “It’s tough to be specific, but the goal is to get back into it as fast as possible. But we’re not going to do things to make an artificial play for ’05. Everything we do will be for ’05 and beyond. We won’t settle on someone on his last legs. We won’t try to fool our fans.”

    “When Beltran was offered $70 million for 5 years by the Yankees, we didn’t think it was feasible for us to spend almost all our free agent money on one player to try to get better for 2005…”

    “I distinguish No. 1 starters and No. 5 starters, and in my mind there are only three or four true No. 1 pitchers,” Bavasi said. “Almost all the others fall in the middle somewhere.”

    “Hey, Cory Lidle’s almost as good as Carl Pavano and Derek Lowe!”

  24. vaujot on October 7th, 2004 3:26 pm

    Dave, when you have a moment, would you mind sharing what you’ve been told and experienced that makes you believe in the organization’s change ? I’m not as skeptic as many on this board, just curious.

  25. msb on October 7th, 2004 3:34 pm

    #21 “Raul Chavez, former Tacoma replacement level catcher got a HR today for Houston.”

    even a blind squirrel, etc. It was his first HR of the year.

    “…and if you’re falling for the Rizz/Melvin line that they will teach Olivo how to catch in spring training”

    FWIW, it is an intensive winter program, not while also catching in spring….

  26. Coach on October 7th, 2004 3:44 pm

    Bill: Tracking No. Taogepacs_5002

    The info we leaked to “Mr. Lint” has not gone over as originally planned. Accordingly, I would like you to step up activity on the search for a new field boss. Perhaps some speculation about a “leading candidate” having surfaced, or some such thing. We could use a bit of a diversion, sooner rather than later. In the mean time, I will work out a new spin on the available budget and distribute through normal channels.
    If you bail me out on this one, I will forget about last year’s snafu (when I told you I was willing to overpay for “gritty players” and you thought I said willing to overpay for sh**ty players).
    I’ve also given some thought to the point you raised about fan interest now that Edgar has retired. It occurs to me that we should announce an additional give-away prior to the commencement of season ticket sales to address that very point. I propose we offer a Pinto (or whatever equivalent model is offered currently) to be given away on Fan Appreciation day. It occured to me that you might have more of a handle on that sort of thing than I. it might be something as simple as reviewing the security tapes to see what type of vehicles our fans routinely drive to the game. I look forward to your input.
    As usual I will not retain this memo. Pay no attention to the tracking number, its a General Ledger sort of thing.


  27. Matt S. on October 7th, 2004 3:54 pm

    I agree that Finnegan most likely had an inside source for this article, and it could be a litmus test for fan reaction. Even if he did not get the information from an insider, however, this is bad news — the FO could use the article as an excuse to spend less (unless fans are outraged and deluge the call-in shows, write letters to the editor, etc.).

    Re: #1 and #5 starters: I actually like Bavasi’s stance, assuming he doesn’t actually sign Cory Lidle. If there are no true #1 pitchers in the market, it doesn’t make sense to pay any of them like a #1 just because that pitcher is the best on the market that the East Coast juggernauts aren’t targeting. That leads to situations like Park, Ponson, and so on.

    As an aside, I had Koskie on my fantasy team for a while (we count OBP) and then I read a quote of his that he was abandoning his solid on-base skills — which were formerly pretty good — and decided to “try to hit more homers.” He did improve his power this year, but his on-base skills disappeared. I hope the Mariners don’t get fooled into signing that guy. He’s the second coming of Spiezio.

  28. LB on October 7th, 2004 4:08 pm

    Pedro Martinez is a free agent this year. I wonder if Bavasi considers him a #1 starter?

  29. PaulP on October 7th, 2004 4:11 pm

    Here is my guess for the standard stuff that will happen this off season. It’s pretty much the same assumptions that Finnigan made, except I don’t have Villone on the list and I assumed they’d stick with a bunch of young pitchers. I came up with this a couple weeks ago, so I don’t know why Finnigan couldn’t have done the same without talking to the front office (after all, he gets paid to do it)

    Player Salary Comments
    Ichiro 11,000,000 plus $500,000 in incentives
    Boone 9,000,000
    Moyer 7,500,000
    Franklin 2,400,000
    Hassegawa 2,975,000
    Guradado 5,500,000 4.5 + 1mil for being the closer
    Olivo 500,000
    Spiezio 3,100,000
    Ibanez 3,750,000 Don’t know the details (3yr 13.25mil)
    Kevin Jarvis 500,000
    Winn 3,900,000 3.75+150,000 bonus for 650 PA
    Meche 2,000,000 arbitration eligible (I’m under here)
    Pineiro 4,200,000 Don’t know for sure if this is right
    Madritsch 300,000
    Sherrill 300,000 Lefty setup
    Thorton 300,000 Lefty setup
    Mateo 400,000 Long guy
    JJ Putz 300,000 Righty setup
    Wilson 750,000
    Jolbert Cabrera 1,000,000 The Mariners love this guy
    Bloomquist 400,000 Again, the Mariners love this guy
    Bucky Jacobsen 300,000 You have to have him
    Vilone 100,000 to buy him out
    Wiki Gonzalez 2,250,000
    Contingency 5,000,000 Mid season acquisitions, etc.
    Cash out 4,800,000 This is mostly Cirillo.
    Total 72,525,000

    Add 20mil or so and you get to the 92mil they are mentioning.
    Should they include Cirillo money, probably not, but if you don’t you must incur the expense this year. Say what you want about the M’s book keeping, but lots of people here are doing the same thing by not counting the money agains either next year or this year.

    I agree that they should go at least $10mil above that. With Boone and Moyer coming off next year, they could drop back 10mil and still be okay.

  30. Jon on October 7th, 2004 4:11 pm

    No surprise to me. I guess that is because I am one of the cynics that some have criticized here. Remember, Lincoln didn’t commit to a hard and fast number with Thiel or in his letter. He suggested the M’s wouldn’t cut payroll and that they would budget a loss. Well, given the M’s chronic fudging of the numbers, how big of a commitment is that? The big fall-off in revenues could explain the “loss” more than their spending. Besides that, no one will ever pin down the M’s on anything payroll related, including the fate of the Sasaki and Cirillo monies. The shocker here isn’t that the M’s are so quickly cutting expectations, but that anybody is surprised by that.

  31. John on October 7th, 2004 4:18 pm

    That last line is sad but so true… Also: Did Lincoln actually really answer ANY of Thiel’s (great) questions?? What a slimy character. “Coach”: hilarious.

  32. Bob on October 7th, 2004 4:38 pm

    Fans have no control over how a team is run. I often think it is useless to talk about who we are going to sign or let go. However, it is fun to dream about how we will somehow get Beltre or Beltran or Drew or some great player who may actually come and help the team. But color me cynical. The more we expect, the more disappointed we will get. As long as the front office doesn’t have guys who value statistics like people here do, then we will be pissed off in the end. And as long as fans show up at the ball park, owners will sock away as much profits as they can get away with. Sadly, even if fans stop coming, I doubt the front office will change their philosophy over night. You can’t fix a problem when you don’t admit or even think it is a problem.

  33. Scott on October 7th, 2004 4:49 pm

    I think Finnigan’s no is very cloes to facts since some other source ie ESPN also stated that Mariners have around 25M to spend. However I am sure we also have to trade for some players not just attacking FA markets. I don’t trust Lincoln, but I am willing to wait it out to see what happen in the off season before jumping into a conclusion. I think he should be nervous enough for his job.

  34. Metz on October 7th, 2004 4:56 pm

    re: Dan Wilson….I think what the anti-dans are trying to say is – If you’re going to go into the season with a catcher that can’t hit, you may as well do it cheaply. Olivo or Wilson, it doesn’t matter. If you’re punting on offense at a position do it as cheaply as you can. It doesn’t make sense to pay Wilson $3 million a year to suck. There are plenty of no hit, good defense catchers available for cheap. Go get one for $750k and use the $2.25 million you just saved to go after a player like Beltran instead of Koskie. The same thing applies to Villone and his ilk. Don’t pay the middle route. Sign players with high VORP for more money and cut costs with replacement level talent at replacement prices. That’s the big idea that this management just can’t buy into. Instead they’d rather fill their $95 million trying to recreate 2001 where they got career years from a bunch of unexpected players.

  35. Brent Overman on October 7th, 2004 4:56 pm

    #29 – Shouldn’t Jarvis’ buyout count to 2004? They essentially declined his option when they cut him. If anything, it should eat into Sasaki’s money (in theory, of course)…

  36. Sane on October 7th, 2004 4:58 pm

    Again, is this coming from Lincoln or Bob Finnegan. If Finnegan is the one who can’t do math, that is fine. But if this crap is coming from Lincoln, that is a problem.

    Oh, no it’s definitely coming directly from Lincoln’s mouth. His interview on KJR today included all those fuzzy, vague payroll figures and excuses, along with the usual “we’re going to take on losses next season” scheme.

  37. Dave in Palo Alto on October 7th, 2004 4:58 pm

    Maybe its in the genes, but the Mariners have never done the cannonball splash in the FA pool, and I have wondered about Dave’s optimism. How many of M’s best have, historically, come from free agency? I think very few. Boone and Ichiro (not technically Ichiro, but in essence), and … who? Willie Horton? Al Cowens? The M’s have basically taken their showcase stars from a very few good trades (RJ, Moyer, etc.), and the privilege of earning high draft choice (Griffey, Rodriguez). (But where are Al Chambers and Tito Nanni?)

    Numbers games are always in the front of the FO playbook. Can’t spend the money unless the fans come. can’t spend without a new stadium.

    Now they have the stadium and the fans, but, well, y’know, . .. . .

    I agree wholeheartedly with those above that if Finnegan is giving a sneak peek into the crystal ball, the M’s will again have the excuse of no fan support.

    D in PA

  38. eponymous coward on October 7th, 2004 5:01 pm

    My guess is that they sign Glaus for the biggest chunk of their FA pool money (which goes along with hiring Maddon for manager), and then sign low-cost roster filler (Lidle/Villone/etc.) with the rest of their money (nobody costing more than a million or a million and a half, and any extra years being options), unless they clear someone like Winn or Ibañez off the deck to make room for Reed- in which case they might pick up another starting pitcher.

    Bavasi then gives us a song and dance about not just being concerned about 2005. Since 2 of our highest-paid players will likely not provide the bang they need to for the buck we spend (Boone and Moyer), we win about 75 games due to us not POSSIBLY being as unlucky as last year with respect to injuries and poor developments.

    This meets with Dave’s scenario where they go out and sign a star player and avoid loading up on the Cory Koskies and Shea Hillenbrands of the world, but also coincides with Pocket Lint’s “we’re so broke” sob story- which is likely Lincoln already having handed the budget to Bavasi.

    And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why Pat Gillick and Bill Bavasi screwed up 2005 for us back in 2003- Shiggy, Ibañez and Spiezio not being on the 2005 payroll between them would give us $10 million to work with just by themselves (hello, Carlos Beltran!).

  39. Pat on October 7th, 2004 5:09 pm

    #37 – I think you can place Olerud’s first couple of years in the “big splash” category. Well, maybe “solid splash”.

  40. Jon Wells on October 7th, 2004 5:30 pm

    Comment on #3 Jerry — Moyer’s salary for 2005 will be $7.5 million as he had a large amount of incentives that were based on his innings pitched and games started in ’03 and ’04…Should have tried to trade him when he had value and interest from contenders in July. But hey, Bavasi said he was an untouchable because he’s one of the cores of the franchise — apparently Bill didn’t realize that he’s 41 years old!

  41. Dave in Palo Alto on October 7th, 2004 5:32 pm

    Pat, you’re right, although it would have nicer to get him in ’97 when he landed with the Mets, nary an M’s bid as far as I know.

    Maybe I should also note the HOF FA the M’s landed — Ricky Henderson.

    Or maybe not.

  42. Jon on October 7th, 2004 5:49 pm

    Here’s another way of looking at this depressing news: If all we have to spend is $20M+/-, what a horrible core team we have for $70M+/-. Our returning players (who suck as a group) cost more than some pretty good complete teams. And if we really don’t have much to spend to make a real impact, then we have become the Mets/Orioles of the west (a perennial underachiever). Yikes.

  43. The REAL Trent on October 7th, 2004 6:26 pm

    Moyer: My understanding is that he did not want to be traded under any circumstances. Otherwise I believe he would have been moved. The Mariners might of said he wasn’t going anywhere, but I believe that was after he said he WOULDN’T go anywhere.

  44. Steve on October 7th, 2004 6:42 pm

    Moyer’s a 10-5 guy, so he couldn’t have been (and still can’t be) traded without his permission.

  45. ChrisK on October 7th, 2004 7:21 pm

    The reason the Mariners don’t sign impact players is that they apply a different “5-tool” evaluation system than that of any other MLB franchise.

    Most teams view the 5 tools as:
    1. Hitting for average
    2. Hitting for power
    3. Running
    4. Fielding
    5. Throwing

    In contrast, the M’s 5-tool system is based on the following skills:
    1. Ability to be born in WA state or have PNW ties
    2. Ability to have been an ex-Mariner
    3. Speed (to sign contracts of 3 years or less)
    4. Being a splendid human being
    5. Ability to be lovable in at least one of their commercials

    With this sophisticed eval system, it’s not wonder they value the likes of Vizquel, Bloomquist, Villone, Ibanez, etc. Take Omar Vizquel. Nice player on the surface, but upon closer examination – he’s an ex-Mariner, lives on the Eastside, had a year left on his contract, and seems like a nice, lovable guy. Hey, that’s a 5-tool player baby! Willie Bloomquist…4-tool player!

  46. Jerry on October 7th, 2004 9:22 pm

    I emailed Bob Finnigan about the payroll figures he used, and he responded. This is seriously what he said. I am not making this up:

    “i wrote what i think is correct so thats all i can tell you. pls dont get into a debate. ichi is 12.5, moyter 8, boone is 9.25, guard is 6, cirilloetc is 5.5. i counted cabrer in at 1.5 figure from there.”

    This guy writes for a newpaper…?!?

    Anyhow, his numbers aren’t correct.

    Guardado has a 4.5 million player option and a 6 million team option. He might have a clause for being the closer. However, the base salary is 4.5 million.

    Ichiro will get 11 million next year. His incentives for plate appearances max out at 250K/year until 2007.

    Moyer has a 1.5 million base salary. He got a 1.5 million bonus for games started. He has a max incentive of 4.5 million for innings pitched, getting the full amount at 210. He only pitched 202 innings, so he won’t get the full amount. I have talked with other people on this blog about his incentives, and it is possible that he will get part of this 4.5 million bonus. However, his salary will be less than 7.5 million regardless (somewhere between 3 and 7.5).

    Boone will get 9 million.

    I have a feeling that Finnigan is confused about other salaries, but his numbers are at least 5 million off from the data he sent me in his garbled email. So it is not as bleak as it might look from that article.

    These are the numbers I have:
    Ichiro $11 million
    Bret Boone $9 million
    Eddie Guardado $4.5 million
    Joel Pineiro $4.5 million
    Raul Ibanez $3.75 million
    Randy Winn $3.75 million
    S. Hasegawa $2.95 million
    Scott Spiezio $3.1 million
    Ryan Franklin $2.5 million
    Jamie Moyer $3 million + possible incentives
    Cirillo/Wiki/Jarvis $7 million

    Grand total: $55.05 million

    That leaves 33 million free if they go to 88 million total payroll, and 37 if they go up to 92 million. Not too shabby.

  47. Sane on October 7th, 2004 11:54 pm

    “i wrote what i think is correct so thats all i can tell you. pls dont get into a debate. ichi is 12.5, moyter 8, boone is 9.25, guard is 6, cirilloetc is 5.5. i counted cabrer in at 1.5 figure from there.”

    Was that seriously his response word-for-word? I hope the editors for the Times who have to proof read his articles get paid well.

  48. ChrisK on October 8th, 2004 1:12 am

    Of these 3 wise men, whose words carry the least credibility in your eyes:

    a. Howard Lincoln
    b. Bob Finnigan
    c. Rick Rizzs

    This is truly a tough one, but I’ll say Lincoln, only because Finny and Rizza pretty much take all their cues from Howard anyway. Can you imagine the magnitude of BS that would be generated if these 3 ever got in a room together?

  49. Jon Wells on October 8th, 2004 3:06 am

    Those 3 men ARE regularly in the same room together — it’s called
    the press box before and during games 🙂

  50. johnb on October 8th, 2004 2:54 pm

    I was hoping the Mariners would budget 105 million toward salaries in 2005. It makes sense to do this for year to shore up the team. The following year around 20 million will come off with Moyer, Boone, and sadly Cirillo not on the payroll anymore.

    The M’s management needs to figure out whether they can live with declining attendance over the next few years, or should they gamble and beef things up this year to avoid the plunge?

    It sounds like an easy choice to me, but the M’s management team doesn’t seem to think the same way I do.

    It looks like the first thing they are going to do is try to trade, Boone, Shiggy, and Spiezio. If Bavasi can do that I will be pretty impressed. That would clear some salary.