M’s spend, skimp, as 2007 approaches

DMZ · February 15, 2007 at 2:04 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

The M’s are going to claim they’re way over $100m in payroll this year. Larry Stone covers the new old math

The team is using a working budget figure of $111 million, which includes about $103 million in raw salaries, another $6 million or so in pro-rated signing bonuses, and their annual “contingency fund” of $2 million for prospective deals and minor-league callups.

The M’s monetary woes are reflected in their interviewing process.


34 Responses to “M’s spend, skimp, as 2007 approaches”

  1. msb on February 15th, 2007 2:12 pm

    I like that Larry is a tad more skeptical than Finny ever was … and a little more snarky:

    Now, you can dispute the wisdom of how the Mariners are spending the money; put me among the multitudes underwhelmed by the bang they have gotten for their bucks.

    Yet you can’t knock them as cheapskates, which used to be the rote criticism of this franchise. They have backed the vision of general manager Bill Bavasi, however fuzzy you might judge it to be, with some serious coin.

  2. carcinogen on February 15th, 2007 2:25 pm

    Thanks for posting this. While it may be so, the irony is that spending more money only reinforces criticism from this segment of M’s fans. To wit, we’ll be treated to yet another year in which a team in their division with a much lower payroll trounces them once again. I don’t want to be too pessimistic, but does anyone on this blog see us passing the As this year?

    The criticism of the team from this subset of fans has always been that they waste money on mid-level, aging/declining talent. That they spend more of it with the same mindset (see: Vidro) is only more grist for the mill.

    Go Felix!

  3. PositivePaul on February 15th, 2007 2:35 pm

    Your Seattle Mariners: spending loads of cash to lead the league every year in grit, hustle, and clubhouse leadership.

    Who cares about the postseason, when your boys are the nicest, fan-friendliest team in the league. The best team for the best fans in baseball!

  4. Evan on February 15th, 2007 2:41 pm

    Unless you happen to get molested by the Moose.

  5. irontech on February 15th, 2007 2:44 pm

    The best team for the best fans in baseball!

    Playing in The Most Beautiful Ballparkâ„¢ in Baseball!!

  6. david h on February 15th, 2007 2:44 pm

    #2 – It would be a blessing if Vidro played like a mid-level talent.

  7. Thom Jimsen on February 15th, 2007 3:19 pm

    So much for the “positive” Mike Hargrove:

    PEORIA, Ariz. (AP) — The morning of spring training’s first day was all it took for Mike Hargrove to get fired up about his hot seat.

    The Mariners manager had been asked all offseason about team chairman and CEO Howard Lincoln declaring six months ago that Hargrove and general manager Bill Bavasi “are on my hot seat” for 2007, thanks to Seattle’s third consecutive last-place finishes in the AL West.

    So when Hargrove was asked about it yet again Wednesday, after the pitchers’ and catchers’ initial workout of his third Mariners season, the gorgeously sunny, spotless skies directly over him suddenly grew clouds.

    And thunderheads.

    “I’ve got two words: Good. Bye. How’s that?” Hargrove said, his eyes searing as his stiff right arm chopped sharply in the direction of his questioner.

    “Hot seat? You know what, I’m going to tell you this — and I don’t want to talk about this not one more time all year long unless it’s the DAY I’m getting fired: This will be the 16th year of doing this at the big-league level. I’ve been good at what I do. I’m still good at what I do.”

  8. msb on February 15th, 2007 3:25 pm

    Baker has an extended version of Hargrove’s speech 🙂

  9. Thom Jimsen on February 15th, 2007 3:27 pm

    Ladies and gentlemen, Mike Hargrove … he’ll be here all week. And hopefully not much longer.

  10. Newby on February 15th, 2007 3:40 pm

    If this team tanks and a new regime is brought in, is there any chance of them making a decent sized cut to the budget?

  11. leetinsleyfanclub on February 15th, 2007 4:04 pm

    I’m really glad that Mike wasn’t pissed off or anything. I’d sure hate to see him lose his compusure on the very first day of ST.

  12. Churchill on February 15th, 2007 4:12 pm

    Am I the only one who LOVES the fact that Grover got all ticked off?

    I like it for a number of reasons, led by the fact that he showed some fire, for once and topped off by the fact that it’s more than clear that he knows how hot his seat really is, which can only be good for the club.

    Either he gets this team to where we all want it to go, or he’s out.

    I despise Hargrove a little less today than I did yesterday.

  13. tgf on February 15th, 2007 4:21 pm

    I don’t give a crap about whether or not Grover has fire. I’d rather he know whether or not Julio Mateo is a ground ball pitcher, for starters.

  14. bigred on February 15th, 2007 4:31 pm

    2 Carcinogen

    Yeah, I do. We’re gonna win the division this year. Write it down. I don’t care if I’m the only person who reads this blog that thinks this, but it’s gonna happen.

  15. gk91 on February 15th, 2007 4:31 pm

    I think there should be an ‘official’ USS Mariner ‘hot seat’ seat cushion for sale soon…..

  16. Thom Jimsen on February 15th, 2007 4:35 pm

    Fire in the service of flaccidity is irrelevant.

  17. mariners23 on February 15th, 2007 4:39 pm

    i really did enjoy that little story!!!

  18. eponymous coward on February 15th, 2007 4:48 pm

    “I’ve been good at what I do. I’m still good at what I do.”


    2000 AL East BAL 50 162 74 88 .457 4
    2001 AL East BAL 51 162 63 98 .391 4
    2002 AL East BAL 52 162 67 95 .414 4
    2003 AL East BAL 53 163 71 91 .438 4
    2005 AL West SEA 55 162 69 93 .426 4
    2006 AL West SEA 56 162 78 84 .481 4

    Ladies and gentlemen, the Seattle Mariners management team: living embodiment of the Dunning-Kruger effect.

  19. Curt_rocks_my_sox on February 15th, 2007 4:56 pm

    The Mariners sound like college students; they spend large amounts of money which they may or may not have, scrimping on every little detail along the way, all in hopes of a big payoff in the future. Only difference: college students are more likely to get a good return on their investment.

  20. Evan on February 15th, 2007 4:56 pm

    If “what he does” is get his teams to finish fourth, he might be better at that than anyone else in baseball.

  21. Evan on February 15th, 2007 4:58 pm

    The consensus mainstream media pick to win the AL West is the Angels, and I think the Angels are the only team we’re actually likely to beat.

  22. MarinerOversiteCommittee on February 15th, 2007 5:00 pm

    Wow, between him and Bavasi they are the most clueless people in baseball. Look at Grover’s record above, and he doesn’t want to be accountable anymore. And Bavasi the worst GM in baseball, he is actually rated as that. Grover has problems with Ichiro and Bryan Price, and he doesn’t want be be asked questions about the hot seat. Wow, he is stupid. He is good at what he does, and has below a .480 winning every year for the past 6 years. He is good at what he does IS TRUE. HE IS GOOD AT LOSING!!!!! So, he spoke the truth, he is good at losing.

    Bavasi is good at making horrific trades-Garcia, C. Guillen, Moyer, Winn, Soriano, Choo, Cabrerra, etc. Makes bad free agent signings–Aurillia, Reese, Lawton, Everett, Reitsma, Batista (34 yrs old 3 year deal at 8.24 million), etc.

    And we wonder why we have been in last place for 4 years. One word, “Bavasi” 2nd word is Hargrove.

  23. Karen on February 15th, 2007 5:36 pm

    Oh, c’mon, MarinerOversiteCommittee, those trades WERE good…for the players. And look at what those first 3 bad free agent signings did after they left Seattle… 😛

  24. msb on February 15th, 2007 5:36 pm

    And Bavasi the worst GM in baseball, he is actually rated as that.

    you mean in the highly scientific internet poll? or are we talking Dayn Perry?

    Grover has problems with … Bryan Price


  25. The Unknown Comic on February 15th, 2007 6:03 pm

    Fire Hargrove and bring back Bob Melvin!

  26. junglist215 on February 15th, 2007 8:41 pm

    I really don’t see Bavasi as the worst GM. Most unpopular with the fanbase? Perhaps. I actually really like the collection of one year deals he’s made. They not only give you payroll flexibility but you could potentially take advantage of the draft compensation rule changes. The compensation picks pretty much are the second round of the draft now. Take a look at SanDiego they’re making 9 picks before the M’s make their 4th only by losing players like Park and Roberts. Not bad.

  27. texas leaguer on February 15th, 2007 9:31 pm

    Hargrove is not just good, but excellent at what he does. His problem is that he hasn’t quite figured out yet that what he “does” is act as a politically correct, chain-of-command-respecting yes-man for rotting baseball organizations owned and run by utter buffoons.

  28. junglist215 on February 15th, 2007 10:00 pm

    Wow. I love those Hargrove quotes. Pissing up a rope probably isn’t nearly as fun as pissing off Hargrove. Going at the media like that isn’t going to turn down the temp on his seat. He isn’t the brightest crayon in the box but what else is new. *sigh*

  29. IdahoInvader on February 15th, 2007 10:45 pm


    EXTREMELY well put…and unfortunately quite true

  30. metz123 on February 15th, 2007 11:10 pm

    What did the M’s actually spend last year? They dumped a lot of salary at mid point and I guess they really only spent around $83 million last year despite their claims of a $95 million payroll.

  31. Tom on February 16th, 2007 12:28 pm

    I love how Hargrove “thinks” he’s a good manager and has done well in 16 years of managing. . .

    The calendar says the season starts April 2nd, but the season really starts when the Mariners get off to a horrendous start the first 3 weeks of the season when we play Oakland, Cleveland, Boston, Texas, Minnesota, and the Angels and then Grover gets fired and John McLaren finally takes his rightful place as Mariners manager.

  32. msb on February 16th, 2007 2:13 pm

    What did the M’s actually spend last year? They dumped a lot of salary at mid point

    They took Moyer off:

    they added:
    Perez, 1,750,000
    Broussard 2,487,500 (minus some % from Cleveland)


    they dumped & still paid:
    Lawton 400,000
    Everett 3,400,000
    Guardado 6,250,000
    Petagine 450,000


  33. party4marty on February 16th, 2007 2:42 pm

    How are they counting Guillens bonus in that number along with vidros full salary. they got 4 mil from the natsdidnt they? Is there any other multi million dollar discrepancies in there?

  34. msb on February 16th, 2007 3:25 pm

    How are they counting Guillens bonus in that number along with vidros full salary. they got 4 mil from the natsdidnt they

    maybe they are applying the $4M to his 2009 vesting option….

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