Last Updated on July 10, 2018 by Jason A. Churchill

There are many ways to gauge the health of a Major League organization, including payroll and farm system. One other is to take the temperature of the current 25-man roster in terms of how long each player is under contract and how many aren’t yet threatening to earn real money that could rob flexibility from the team’s payroll.

Consider where the most win value is coming from when perusing the table below. The Mariners are getting amazing value out of Marco Gonzales, James Paxton, Edwin Diaz and Mitch Haniger, for example, and control their core younger players for at least two years after 2018, but aren’t tied to many players beyond 2020 (Only Robinson Cano, Kyle Seager and Jean Segura have guarantees as deep as 2021).

For context, here are the club’s salary commitments for the next five years (options may alter figures below):

2019: $126.06m
2020: $83.6m
2021: $63.35m
2022: $38.85m
2023: $25.0m

*option for following season

0-3: Following the 2018 season, is the player still in 0-3 mode, which means pre-arbitration?

OWED: Guaranteed dollars on current contract
C: Club-controlled contract, pre-arbitration
ARB1: 1st-year arbitration eligible after 2018
ARB2: 2nd-year rbitration eligible after 2018
ARB3: 3rd-year arbitration eligible after 2018

RHP Felix Hernandez 2019* NO $27.86m
RHP James Paxton 2020 NO ARB3
LHP Mike Leake 2020* NO $28m
LHP Marco Gonzales 2023 YES C
LHP Wade LeBalnc 2019* NO $2.75m
RHP Edwin Diaz 2022 YES C
RHP Alex Colome 2020 NO ARB2
RHP Juan Nicasio 2019 NO $9.25m
LHP James Pazos 2022 YES C
LHP Roenis Elias 2021 NO C
RHP Chasen Bradford 2023 YES C
RHP Nick Vincent 2019 NO ARB3
C Mike Zunino 2020 NO ARB2
C Chris Hermann 2019 NO ARB3
1B Ryon Healy 2022 YES C
2B Dee Gordon 2020* NO $28.1m
2B Robinson Cano 2023 NO $120m
3B Kyle Seager 2021 NO $57.5m
SS Jean Segura 2022* NO $60.4m
UT Andrew Romine 2018 NO FA
OF Guillermo Heredia 2022 YES C
OF Ben Gamel 2022 YES C
OF Mitch Haniger 2022 YES C
OF Denard Span 2018* NO $4m
DH Nelson Cruz 2018 NO FA
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  1. Author

    Hey Ben, thanks for the kind words. Much appreciated. I mean that.

    Regarding Nelson Cruz, it’s difficult for me to make some sort of assessment on that situation without knowing the future plan for Robinson Cano, 2B and CF. I don’t think signing Nelson Cruz to a two-year extension is as much of a slam-dunk as some people seem to think it is… If he wants 30 million dollars over 2 years I probably do it if he wants 40 million dollars over 2 years I’m not doing it. I’m content with tendering him the qualifying offer over the offseason and being totally fine with it if he accepts.

    RE: SP
    I went in depth on this in Friday night’s podcast but in general I think you have to be somewhat all-in as long as the pitcher you get in return is not a rental. For a rental like
    Happ you’re not trading away top assets, even considering said top assets are not premium talents.

    I cannot see this happening at all, but if you had an opportunity to acquire Jacob deGrom from the Mets you send them whatever they want from your farm system and never look back.

  2. Avatar

    Thank you so much for these articles. By far you’ve been my favorite baseball writer for several years now.

    Dipoto has formed a young cost controlled nucleus within the aging core of players such as Felix, Cano, Seager, and Cruz.

    Jason, if you’re GM, do you bring back Cruz next year? If so, what are you’re terms?

    And secondly, how much are you willing to part with for SPing? How important to you, is getting this franchise to the postseason without hampering the future for the Mariners?

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