Projecting The New 2010 Roster

Dave · July 29, 2009 at 5:41 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

After today’s move, the M’s plan for the next year’s team, and how they’ll continue making upgrades this winter, comes into a bit clearer view. Here’s the general overview of what the team has in house for next year as of now.

Catcher: Rob Johnson, Kenji Johjima, Adam Moore
First Base: Mike Carp, Chris Shelton
Second Base: Jose Lopez
Shortstop: Jack Wilson
Third Base: Matt Tuiasosopo, Jack Hannahan
Left Field: Michael Saunders, Ryan Langerhans
Center Field: Franklin Gutierrez
Right Field: Ichiro Suzuki
Designated Hitter: Brad Nelson

Johjima’s probably going away (either back to Japan or traded, with the team basically assuming the rest of his salary), so you can mentally cross him off the list. The middle infield is probably set, while you’d expect that the team will displace one of the kids at the corners with a veteran. I’d expect Branyan back next year, so Carp/Shelton would share DH and Nelson would keep hanging out in Tacoma. Whether the the M’s will hand third over to Tui and Hannahan probably depends on how much Beltre gets offered as a free agent.

Rotation: Felix Hernandez, Ian Snell, Ryan Rowland-Smith, Brandon Morrow, Jason Vargas, Carlos Silva, Garrett Olson, Nick Hill

Bullpen: David Aardsma, Mark Lowe, Shawn Kelley, Sean White, Chris Jakubauskas, Robert Manuel, Josh Fields, Phillippe Aumont, losers of the rotation competition.

The rotation got a necessary arm for next year today in Snell, who could give the team the mid-rotation starter they were lacking before today’s trade. The flyball lefties, Morrow, and Silva could fight to fill out the back of the rotation, while Hill could force his way into the discussion if he has a strong spring.

All told, the M’s currently have about $55 million in committed multi-year contract salaries for 2010, while the arbitration eligible gang (Felix, Gutierrez, Aardsma, Lowe) should command about $15 million between them, and the league minimum guys on the roster would push the total payroll to about $78 million. If the organization maintains a payroll of around $95 million for 2010, then Jack would have about $17 million to spend this winter – and that’s before he brings back any of the Beltre/Branyan/Bedard/Washburn gang.

With that kind of money available, the team probably can only afford to offer arbitration to one of Beltre/Bedard (bet on Beltre in that case), and bringing back either would limit the amount of money they could offer Branyan to ~$6 or $7 million for 2010.

Or, to put this another way, take the above roster, put Beltre and Branyan back on it in place of Nelson/Tui, and you’re probably maxed out in payroll.

This is the downside of today’s trade. The M’s picked up a shortstop and a starting pitcher, but it cost them $12.5 million out of the 2010 payroll. They chopped up about 30% of their estimated winter budget in today’s deal. That’s a bit of a blow, and means that the team won’t be able to retain all the guys on the current roster that it might want to.

It’s nice to have a league average shortstop and a starter with upside. The team needed both. I just hope that everyone realizes that part of the cost of acquiring these two is that we’re now significantly less likely to upgrade 3B/1B/DH/SP this winter, at least through free agency. We know Jack’s good at finding undervalued talent in trade, which is good, because he’s going to have to do it again this winter.


112 Responses to “Projecting The New 2010 Roster”

  1. Jeff Nye on July 30th, 2009 12:43 am

    Oh, right, I forgot. 🙁

  2. rebuilder on July 30th, 2009 12:49 am

    I think the first thing we should do is trade Washburn and Lowe to the LA and see if we could add to SP depth with a McDonald and maybe get a utility guy like Dewitt. As for Beltre i would offer arbitration, but i believe there is a 3 year contract in the NL waiting for him, plus the fact that he will be type B free agent will make him more attractive. This will allow us to get a sandwich pick.

    If the season ended today the M’s would have the 17TH pick if we get into the top 15 then our pick is protected against a type A free agent pick up. With the sandwich pick from Beltre it would not hurt to much to give a second rounder up for a Type A assuming a couple teams better us between now and the end of the season. I wouldn’t mind picking up Bobby Abreau and making him the DH if we could pick him up for 6 to 7 million a year. I would try to sign Russell B. for a similar contract. As for 3B you could have Tui Dewitt and Hanahan fight it out or you could have enough left over and get a melvin mora type.

    Bedard bring him back off the DL in 15 days showcase for a start or two, and see if you can make a waiver deal. You might be able to 30 cents on the dollar for him. If no waiver deal no arb at the end of the year. This should put us at 95 mil more or less.

  3. Adam B. on July 30th, 2009 12:50 am

    Most of what I’d have to say about the Mariners off-season priorities would just be reiterating what Dave has already–For the most part, eloquently stated.

    Aside from Beltre and Branyan, there really aren’t any free-agents to be desired anyway. Certainly if Beltre doesn’t resign you would have to pursue a Crede or possibly a trade for Josh Fields, and perhaps an incentive laden deal for Bedard or Harden would be a wise investment, but otherwise I’d say the M’s are pretty well set as far as 2010 is concerned.

    In fact, if the Mariners got another decent infielder and/or starting pitcher for Jarrod Washburn, I wouldn’t think they’d have to make another move aside from resigning the two vitals.

  4. just a fan on July 30th, 2009 1:08 am

    possibly a trade for Josh Fields

    M’s should absolutely trade for 3B Josh Fields! You can never have too many Josh Fieldses.

  5. Bandit24 on July 30th, 2009 2:28 am


    As has been discuss earlier in this post, the M’s won’t have a lot of payroll to work with this off-season so I see no way they will be able to afford an Abreau or Mora (certainly not both). Why would you go with Abreau anyways with Carp, Branyan, and Shelton available to fill the DH role?

    I hope the M’s find a way to fit Guti, Ackley, and Sanders into the same lineup. That could be a special group for years to come! Throw felix and Triunfel in there and the future for the M’s looks pretty bright.

  6. ivan on July 30th, 2009 5:11 am

    Bouncing guys around between positions is a really good way to stunt their development.

    Or maybe not. Craig Biggio and Robin Yount say hello. It depends entirely on the individual. If it’s at all feasible to turn a projected plus bat such as Ackley’s into a LH-hitting 2B, and he’s willing or even eager, at least give it a try.

    What are spring trasining and the fall instructional leagues for if not for stuff like this? If he’s not willing, or not adaptable, then forget it. But it’s just silly to dismiss it out of hand.

  7. msb on July 30th, 2009 6:27 am

    It is impossible that he’d replace Ichiro! Ichiro! will play for the Mariners and be awesome forever! Long live Ichiro!

    Oh, right, I forgot. 🙁

    It will be interesting to see what does happen as Ichiro winds down, as he has such a highstandard for himself…

  8. tmac9311 on July 30th, 2009 8:05 am

    I’m still drooling over Kazmir/Brignac. Oh how i’d love to see Washburn/Lowe/Wilson/”piece” in a three way deal that nets us them. I’ve been dreaming all morning over the possibilities if are starting 5 were

    Felix, Bedard, Snell, Kazmir, Morrow

    There’s a whole lot of questions marks after Felix, but if (although it is a big if) they all played near there potential that could be one of the best rotations in baseball.

    And if there are injuries or poor performances we always would have

    Felix, Hyphen, Vargas, Olson, Chris Jak…..

    So where Branyan/Betlre/Bedard would take most or all of the winter money, the team be set and passable at every position, and ready to take a chance at a run.

    Am I nuts, or if the M’s could pull that off would it be worth it?

  9. Soonerman22 on July 30th, 2009 8:26 am

    Johjima’s probably going away (either back to Japan or traded, with the team basically assuming the rest of his salary), so you can mentally cross him off the list.

    Is it possible? Could it be true? I will pay for his plane ticket if that is the case!!!

  10. csiems on July 30th, 2009 8:31 am

    It will be interesting to see what does happen as Ichiro winds down, as he has such a highstandard for himself…

    Or for that matter a 34 year-old Russell Branyan, a 31 year-old Adrian Beltre, a 32 year-old Jack Wilson, and a 36 year-old Jarrod Washburn. Offering contracts to all of these guys makes me nervous.

    If we resign these guys, three of our four biggest bats next year will be on the wrong side of thirty–some extremely so.

    That many multi-year deals can quickly turn into team anchors–beloved anchors as they may be.

  11. mymrbig on July 30th, 2009 8:50 am

    Gutierrez and Ichiro! will be free agents after 2012. I think it is unrealistic to expect Ackley to be ready before mid-2011, at the absolute earliest. So when you are talking about, at most, 1.5 seasons of overlap between Gutierrez, Ichiro!, Saunders, and Ackley, I don’t think you worry about trading any of them. You keep all 4 to cover you for injuries and for use as DH’s. Maybe you think about trading someone in the 2011/2012 offseason if all 4 have established themselves as healthy and worth of starting jobs. But that is really too far off to be a consideration at this point.

    As much as I like the idea of having Beltre and Branyan back to help compete in 2010, both would have to be for 1 or 2 year deals and both would have to be pretty reasonable. Guys like Tui and Carp are dirt cheap and need to get opportunities soon to see whether they can stick as regulars.

    As much as everyone loves Beltre, he hasn’t been the healthiest cat the past couple seasons and you have to wonder when the defense will start dropping off if he accumulates nagging injuries.

    Branyan has been everything the team hoped for when they signed him, but he will be 34 next year and this is easily his most productive season. Bringing him back will help the team contend in 2010, but I just hope they don’t get too infatuated with Branyan’s success. They have to remember that their are other Branyan’s out there who deserve a shot and can be signed for $1-2 million.

    Surely their has to be a bad contract that Johjima can be swapped for? Johjima for Milton Bradley? Johjima for Oliver Perez? Johjima for JD Drew?

  12. AdamN on July 30th, 2009 10:01 am

    I know this is a ways up and different from what has been talked about in recent posts, but am I the only one who thinks the Mariners can resign Bedard to a contract given to Sheets(none till off injury), Garcia, Mulder, Prior where they sign him next to nothing and load the contract with incentives. The trend as of late is to leave injured pitchers alone. There is a high risk of signing bedard back with his injuries but high reward if he finally gets over them. I don’t think any body is going to try to sign him with his injuries. Look at Pedro and Sheets. I think Bedard will experience the same, so why not take the risk and lose a million? Is there a better cheaper option out there at the moment?

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