This turns up in Hickey’s latest entry @ the PI, and I’ve seen it elsewhere, that the M’s don’t have the money to sign Griffey or Garret Anderson, but they might do a deal with a lot of deferred money. Here’s Hickey:
Technically speaking, the Mariners don’t have the payroll to fit either man into the payroll at the pay level they might otherwise expect. But with some creative accounting – read that to mean lots of deferred money, it’s a good bet that a deal for one or the other will come down in the next few days.
Why? Abreu got $5m in base salary and you’d much rather have him than either of those two. The remaining market is pretty much no one. Why give Garret or Griffey a ton of money because it’s what they’re accustomed to? Why defer money?
If they want, the M’s can call both sets of agents, say “We have one contract here for $2m base and $1m at 400 PA and another $1m at 500 PA. The first person to say yes gets it. Second prize is you retire.”
We’ve seen the market crater this off-season. There’s no reason to overpay.