Long term track-o-tron

DMZ · December 16, 2004 at 12:18 am · Filed Under Mariners 

Mariners with contracts extending past 2004. $ in millions. Some contracts approximated from available data on average value. Does not include signing bonuses or performance incentives.

Who 2005 2006 2007 2008
Sexson $4.5 $11.5 $14 $14
Beltre $13 $13 $13 $13
Ichiro! $11 $11 $11  
Guardado $4.3 $4.3    
Ibanez $4.3 $4.3    
Winn $4 $4*    
Spiezio $3 $3    

* annoyingly complicated player-and-team option


26 Responses to “Long term track-o-tron”

  1. eponymous coward on December 16th, 2004 12:39 am

    Uh, shouldn’t Guardado be on that list, since the option for 2006 WILL be exercised by either him or the team?

  2. DMZ on December 16th, 2004 12:42 am

    See, here’s the problem with comments and the web. I should have kept this in the bunker in ‘draft’ status while I tweaked it out so as to avoid issues like this.

    Anyway, already fixed.

  3. Noel on December 16th, 2004 12:47 am

    Only two contracts extending past 2006?… wow. I’ll bet Bavasi is just itching to hand out some more long-term deals. 🙂

    Also, the sheer size of the back-end of Sexson’s deal gives cause for concern. Even if he performs well, he’ll be untradable, which means we’re stuck with him for the duration. We’d better hope our new batting coach can teach him to never check his swing, ever again.

  4. eponymous coward on December 16th, 2004 12:57 am


    But I DID use decent punctuation!

  5. eponymous coward on December 16th, 2004 1:19 am

    Oh, and Piñero’s under contract for 2006 as well, his last year of his 3 yr/14.5 million dollar deal.

  6. damienroc on December 16th, 2004 1:49 am

    Hmm… I wonder if Ichiro will be getting a 3/$40-50 deal for 2008.

    In light of the fact that many contracts are coming off the books, the bad back end for Sexson doesn’t look so bad. I’m not feeling quick to judge and say that all M’s signings are bad. Ibanez was, yes. Winn is probably more even. Boone’s deal, even after last year, doesn’t strike me as a terrible one.

    Sexson seems to be the “one iffy contract.” Provided we’re not saddled with a buch more Ibanez/Cirillo/Spezio contracts, things could be okay. Whether or not that will happen is up in the air.

    Of course, in light of the various contracts THIS year, even Raul Ibanez may turn out to be a bargain.

  7. Chris Begley on December 16th, 2004 1:52 am

    Wow.. if only there weren’t all those other columns. Sexson is a positive bargain in 2005!

  8. Conor Glassey on December 16th, 2004 1:56 am

    Winn will actually receive $3.75 million in 2005. The Mariners have a $5 million option for 2006, but if the team declines the option it becomes a player option at $3.75 million. He can earn an additional $125,000 in both 2005 and 2006 if he has 650 plate appearances.

  9. Chris Begley on December 16th, 2004 2:03 am

    You know what, reading the post below this pne about comments and arguments in favour of this or that. I have been reading a number of baseball commentators, some of whom I like (Verducci, Donovan), some indifferent (Stark, Gammons) some I dislike (OLNEY), and i think that the rules of last year are not the rules of this year. Donovan in particular brought up a good point about some new streams of money flowing into the league, in particular satellite radio – is it Sirius that has the contract? SO the result of this is that, as we have all seen, contracts have increased in price; there is a corresponding decrease in value (look I am even using proper punctuation – I just read the highly recommended Eats, Shoots and Leaves by Lynne Truss)
    So where does this leave our heroes, the Mariners? They have a few choices. They can look to the farm for help (ala the A’s and Twins). I think we can all agree that hey, Bobby Madritsch is a nice surprise and somebody who looks cool out there and maybe that Jeremy Reed kid will be okay and there is somebody named Felix on the way, but our salvation is not in Tacoma. So, option B is to laugh at the new salary regime and stick with the team: the team that just wone 65-odd games. Okay, Option C is to identify the two or three players (Beltre, Drew, Beltran) that you really want and go after them, even if you have to overpay. Okay that is fine, but if I am the GM there is that nagging voice saying – what if you don’t get them hotshot? Then what? Then you are out on the street after another 65 win campaign – and you think of Option D. Maybe raise the payroll a bit (to 99 million dollars). make a b-list of players. Go after Delgado and Sexson et al and make sure you do something for gods sake, and still try to get one of the big guns. And I think optino D is what we have been left with. When I think it through, it seems logical. I can understand how they have backed themselves into this corner. Lord, if I was installed as the GM, with the understanding that the owners expect you to make a try for another 90 win season, I would be trying something silly too.

    I don’t think Mr. Bavasi has the luxury of saying “these deals are ridiculous and will bite the teams in the ass” He has to do something

  10. my doggerel on December 16th, 2004 2:51 am

    It seems baseball contracts can be classified three ways, straightforward you-get-what-your-skills/future-warrant contracts (find any sensible contract), payback-for-significant-contributions contracts (Moyer, BoSox offer to Pedro), and symbolic contracts. All three are inevitable and their relative importance is debatable. Obviously, Sexson’s contract falls almost entirely into the symbolic category. (He is too risky and overpaid to qualify for much of the first category.) However, this doesn’t completely freak me out. Aside from all the at-least-they-did-something logic, I think that the actual cost to the team’s future is negligible. With teams that are making the kind of revenue the Mariners make, the money that is allocated to existing contracts seems almost imaginary. (See the non-impact of Sasaki “savings.”) In this vein, the M’s are just a team with a higher payroll. I wouldn’t be surprised if a later decision to add or not add somebody we need will come down to the same irrational process as say not adding people every summer we really needed someone or all the sudden paying out the nose for a gamble with a less than stupendous upside. In other words, let’s at least be happy they have made a change to the organizational philosophy and hope it results in more intelligent signings later. I only really worry about this contract if the Mariners, for whatever reason, lose significant revenue and the money dumped on Sexson is so large it truly hurts. Maybe this is flimsy logic, but I just don’t see enough rationality to high-revenue baseball teams to be freaked out right now. It was just dumb, that’s all.

  11. AK1984 on December 16th, 2004 3:05 am

    Those above figures aren’t totally correct — although, I’ve been one to screw up before, so I can’t knock you there — but here are the right figures.

    Ryan Franklin: 2005—$1.9 million & 2006—$2.4 million
    Wiklenman Gonzalez: 2005—$2.25 million & 2006—(Team Option: $2.75 million or Buyout: $250,000)
    Eddie Guardado: 2005—$4.5 million & 2006—(Team Option: $7 million or Player Option $4.5 million)
    Shigetoshi Hasegawa: 2005—$2.975 million & 2006 (Team Option: $3.08 million [vests w/ either 58 games pitched or 45 games finished] or Buyout: $333,000)
    Raul Ibanez: 2005—$3.75 million & 2006—$4.25 million
    Joel Pineiro: 2005—$4.2 million & 2006—$6.25 million
    Richie Sexson: 2005—$4.5 million [w/$6 million signing bonus]; 2006—$11.5 million; 2007—$14 million; & 2008—$14 million
    Scott Spiezio: 2005—~$3.1 million; 2006—~$3.1 million; 2007—(Team Option: $3.25 million or Buyout: $250,000)
    Ichiro Suzuki: 2005—$10.5 million; 2006—$12.5 million; 2007—$13.5 million [incentives for 2005, 2006, & 2007: $50k(400PA); $100k(500PA); $100k(600PA)
    Randy Winn: 2005—$3.75 million & 2006—(Team Option: $5 million or Player Option: $3.75 million) [$125,000 in incentives during both 2005 and 2006 for making 650 PA]

  12. jj on December 16th, 2004 3:39 am

    #11, your salary on Franklin is incorrect. Derek is right on this. Franklin is only signed thru 2005 and it is for 2.45m. He already made 1.8m at 2004.

  13. AK1984 on December 16th, 2004 3:45 am

    Yeah, you’re right…I messed up on Franklin; I got the years incorrect.

  14. Sonic on December 16th, 2004 7:08 am

    The stuff from pocket lint in the Times today about the M’s being indifferent between Delgado vs. Beltre is simply horrifying but I’ll leave that for someone else to go off on. Its more the presumption that Boras will allow Beltre to sign for even close to what we gave Sexson that is really nuts. If Sexson is worth $50 million, than Beltre ain’t signing for $60 million. Boras would hold him until February if he had to rather than do that. Lets see, 25 year old multi-dimensional stud third baseman coming off a near MVP season vs. a 30 year old first baseman coming off a season missed due to reconstructive shoulder surgery. On a related note, if Nomar’s agent hasn’t already fled to a tiny third world nation by now, I would strongly suggest he do so immediately. There’s likely some large men looking for him.

  15. Morisseau on December 16th, 2004 8:15 am

    A suggestion — a ‘sum’ line per year at the bottom would be nice … ?

  16. lvlariner on December 16th, 2004 8:26 am

    I’m glad to see most of the comments above are of higher standard.

    #9, You make a good point about option D. I think most of us fail to view this winter FA period from the GM’s viewpoint. If I had the cozy gig of the M’s GM and knowing the expectations that ownership has for 05 (here’s a little money BB, now make sure you go from 99 losses to 90 wins since your such a great GM), I too would hedge my signings by getting at least one of the next tier FAs after the Belts and Drew.

    When you consider Boras’ history of dragging out negotiations, you want to show you signed someone in case you fail to sign Beltre. (Let’s not forget what Sasaki’s untimely retirement did to the M’s.)

    To look at Sexson’s signing from a positive paul perspective, it shows the M’s are serious about fielding a winner or at least making a sincere effort to that end. It also works as leverage when Bavasi get’s into more detailed negotiations (X fingers here) with Boras since Bavasi has already made a major move and it’s not as imperative he sign Beltre. And to the FAs still available, knowing Sexson will be protecting the lineup somewhat gives more reassurances if they are considering signing with the Ms.

    #14, I’m no fan of pocket lint either but i’m wondering if that line about “Beltre OR Delgado” is not just more leveraging by the M’s FO as they make final preparations to sign Beltre. Anyone who would consider Delgado in the same league with Beltre needs to take Baseball 101. Seems they’ve patiently waited as team by team have signed other players, rather than desperately wait for Boras to negotiate from a position of strength. My only concern with this argument is judging from past decisions, I have my doubts that the M’s FO has this much foresight. 😀

    Beltre or Bust!!!! (Sexson is signed, what can you do now cept pray for the best.)

  17. roger tang on December 16th, 2004 9:16 am

    I think the “assembled talent” motive may play a bigger role than some people think. Sure, there are players who’ll go solely for the money, but there are people who may not want to be the only “stud” on a team. They want to have assurances of talent (which is not quite protection, though it’s in the neighborhood).

  18. Aaron on December 16th, 2004 9:18 am

    The problem for the next 4-5 years isn’t that the M’s have a ton of lemon contracts, it’s that filling out the 25-man roster will require them to sign marginal free agents for $1-$3 million/year when that talent should be supplied by the minor leagues, leaving much less money to lock up another thumper or two. Sure, there are a small handful of B- prospects, but constructing a roster around a bunch of slap-happy speedy outfielders leaves a lot of holes.

  19. whitey on December 16th, 2004 10:03 am

    I agree with the idea that Bavasi felt pressure to make a symbolic signing early in the process. There are two reasons that have been discussed, the need to impress other free agents prospects that we are serious and the need to impress the fans that we are serious. Judging from the talk on KJR yesterday they accomplished the second one.

    If they truly want what they say they want, two big bats and a second level pitcher, then their choices were limited. We might think they should have signed Drew but I don’t know that that signing would have the same impression that Delgado or Sexson has nor do I think the Ms FO has developed enough to realize Drew is a better signing.

    So, given a choice between Sexson and Delgado, then what? I agree with the idea that Sexson’s contract is too much but I am not on suicide watch over it. There are a couple of reasons. Pecota projections for both players (I realize for Sexson this is pre-injury)show little difference over the 05-08 years. WARP is virtually the same. Delgado gets more value from his bat where Sexson adds 1 win each year from his fielding. 1B fielding won’t decline due to a drop in power from his injury so this value is somewhat protected. Sexson also has a much lower drop rate, a higher breakout possibility, etc. Pecota shows him as the ever so slightly less risky choice of the two (before the injury). And, as over-priced as he may seem, Sexson is the cheaper of the two options. Plus, since the M’s pitching staff relies mainly on DEF as apposed to three true outcome pitchers the increased infield defense probably has more value to them than the average team.

    If we are able to use Sexson’s presence in the lineup to improve our chances of getting Beltre then as someone else said it makes the cost more palatable. And an infield defense with Beltre, Boone, and Sexson improves our pitching staff some.

  20. DMZ on December 16th, 2004 10:14 am

    Dangit, Guardado dropped off again. Stupid chart.

  21. Steve on December 16th, 2004 10:26 am

    re #9: There must be some additional revenue streams this year. If there aren’t, then the FA market will collapse for players who are late signings.

    By and large, every team figures out how much money it can spend on free agents, and the aggregate is the amount of money in the FA pool. As players sign, the pool shrinks. So when more money goes to one player, somewhere another player is getting less. There may be some exceptions when a FA is unexpectedly available, and an owner decides to open the wallet a bit. But overall, the total pool of money should be close to static in any off-season. I think the agents know this, and the teams know this. And it behooves all of them to keep track of the status of the pool. It wouldn’t surprise me if MLB distributed that information among teams, as MLB operates as close to collusion as it can possibly get without crossing the line.

    After the first wave of signings, I expected the market to soften, as money was being sucked out of the pool. That is not happening, which suggests the pool is significantly larger this year. And a larger pool indicates added revenues available for FAs.

    If there is any agent that keeps track of this, it is Boras. Boras is smart enough to understand that when the pool shrinks to a certain point, his clients aren’t going to get any better offers. So if Boras is continuing to hold his players from signing, it’s because he believes there is still a significant pool of uncommitted money; a pool large enough to get bigger offers than he has received already.

  22. Shoeless Jose on December 16th, 2004 10:51 am

    I don’t think the “FA Pool” of money is as static as you suggest. Every team has limits, yes, and for some teams they’re pretty frozen. But other teams have more flexibility: if a really juicy FA appears, they dig down between the cushions of the sofa in the owner’s suite and find a few million. Often this is backloaded, in that they assume they will have more revenue or additional revenue streams in the future (whether it’s a winning team getting them playoff revenue or MLB selling “spiderman” logos on the bases). Sometimes they just decide they’re willing to take less profit out of the team. Since the books are closed, it’s hard to know. But NY always seems able to find the money for a player they really want; and how else to explain Arizona being a big (and reckless) spender in the FA market this year?

    As an aside, oh how I wish one of the cities that paid to build a stadium had made it contingent on the team opening its books. Public money for your park? Public scrutiny of your books as long as you play there. That would be fascinating, and do as much to clean up the game as any steroid investigation…

  23. Evan on December 16th, 2004 11:08 am

    If nothing else, that chart makes Speez look like a real bargain.

    Of course, he’s not. By $/VORP, Speez is probably the least efficient expenditure there.

  24. Evan on December 16th, 2004 11:10 am

    Wait – here’s an interesting question.

    Who would you rather have? Sexson for his contract, or Pedro for his contract?

    Ideally, I’d like both for the first two years. But forced to choose between them, I can’t really tell.

  25. TheresASnakeInMyBoot on December 16th, 2004 11:51 am

    #24 – I would take the Sexson contract over Pedro’s any day. Pedro only plays every 5th day (if they are lucky) and has only been effective for 6 innings of that.

  26. roger tang on December 16th, 2004 2:48 pm

    Y’know….I just LOVE the addition to the chart….