Roster Notes and Rules

  • The MLB minimum for 2016 was $507,500 and jumped to $535,000 in 2017. In 2018, the minimum salary is $545,000. In 2019, that hops to $555,000. If a player makes the 25-man roster, that is the lowest salary a club can dictate for a player, not including prorated bonuses.
  • Typically, club controlled contracts (TC) are slightly above the league minimum, depending on experience, but first-year players on club controlled contracts always start at the league minimum. Second-year players often get small bumps in pay, and third-year players get a decent increase from their second-year salary. Generally, pre-arbitration contracts remain within $250,000 or so of the minimum, with relatively rare exceptions.
  • A club may not renew a contract at a salary less than 80 percent of the player’s salary and performance bonuses the previous year or less than 70 percent of his salary and performance bonuses from two years earlier.
  • Arbitration remains the same as with previous CBAs; players who have at least three, but fewer than six seasons of service time qualify for arbitration, which greatly increases salaries on a year-to-year basis. The one exception for arbitration qualification is Super Two status. A player with less than three years of service time but more than two years, including at least 86 days of service the prior season, and is among the top 22 percent of such players in service time accrued, shall also be eligible for arbitration. That number for the 2017-178offseason was two years, 123 days, which will read in new media as 2.123.
  • Arbitration salaries, once assigned, do not become fully guaranteed until the regular season begins for his club. If the player is cut before the 16th day prior to the season beginning, he is entitled only to 30 days termination pay, which is just over 17 percent of the arbitration salary assigned. If the player is cut during Spring Training, but after the 16th day before the season begins, he is entitled to 45 days’ termination pay, which is just over 26 percent of his arbitration salary.
  • The most service time that can be accrued in one season is 172 days.
  • A player earns such service time even if placed on the 15-day or 60-day disabled list, or if he’s suspended. Players do not accrue MLB service time if on a minor league disabled list or if suspended while in the minor leagues.
  • The below salary totals do not include incentives, buyouts or bonuses. Only salary that is 100 percent guaranteed is listed, with the exception of arbitration projections, noted with next to the salary, and salaries that become guaranteed if roster spot is earned.
  • Options is a term often misunderstood by fans and even some media members. Options represent option years, not total times sent from the 25-man roster, often called the “Active Roster,” to the minors. Once a player is placed on the 40-man roster, in order to assign that player to the minors the team uses one of three available options. During that season, the player can be called up and sent down as many times as the club wishes and it burns just the one option. Only one option can be burned during any one season. Spring training options count the same as options during the regular season.
  • A player may be eligible for the rare fourth option year if he has been optioned in three seasons but does not yet have five full seasons of professional experience. A full season is defined as being on an active pro roster for at least 90 days in a season. If a player is placed on the disabled list after earning 60 or more days of service in a single season, his time on the disabled is counted. Because the requirement is 90 days, short-season assignments do not accrue enough time.
  • If a player is optioned but spends less than 20 days in the minors before being recalled, an option is not burned. During the regular season, once a player is optioned to the minors, he cannot be recalled for at least 10 days unless it’s to replace a player placed on the 15-day or 60-day disabled list.
  • Players with five years or more of service time cannot be assigned to the minors without consent. If consent is not given, the player is afforded his release and becomes a free agent.
  • Players on the 10-day disabled list remain on a club’s 40-man roster; players placed on the 60-day disabled list are off the 40-man until activated.
  • Figures in parentheses represent the player’s previous season salary in full-form. Neither Ryan Cook, Roenis Elias, for example, earned their entire big-league salary since they spent time in the minors. Chris Herrmann avoided arbitration with Arizona at $1.3 million but was designated for assignment in March with the Diamondbacks paying 45 days termination pay, instead of the full arbitration salary.
  • ARB-4 represents a player’s fourth shot at arbitration but it’s common for players to get stuck in the middle of arbitration status. If a player began 2018 with, say, five years and 20 days of service time and spent 50 days in the majors during the season, he’d still be shy of the six years required for free agency, hence another arbitration season. This occurs with players at all levels of arbitration status.
  • Below are the guaranteed salary figures for the Seattle Mariners over the next three seasons. Players listed are currently on the club’s 40-man roster. Subject to change daily.
  • Higlighted figures represent option buyout totals, not the full option year salary.
  • Free agents such as Nelson Cruz are not listed.
  •  Mike Leake‘s 2019 and 2020 salaries are subsidized by cash the Mariners received from the St. Louis Cardinals. The right-hander will make $16 million in 2019 and $15 million in 2020, but the Mariners are only on the hook for $11 million each of those seasons, plus the $5 million buyout of Leake’s $18 million optionf or 2021. It’s worth noting Leake has full no-trade rights per the contract he signed with the Cardinals three years ago.
  • The Mariners have $41,157,143 committed to the starting rotation for 2019, not including arbitration-eligible players.
  • The Mariners have $9,250,000 committed to tbe bullpen, not including arbitration-eligible players
  • The Mariners have $71,650,000 committed to infielders, including Dee Gordon, but not including arbitration-eligible players.
  • The Mariners do not have a single dollar committed to outfielders for 2019, not including arbitration-eligible players.
  • The Mariners do not have a single dollar committed to catchers for 2019, not including arbitration-eligible players.

Player 2019 2020 2021
Felix Hernandez $27,857,143 FA
Robinson Cano $24,000,000 $24,000,000 $24,000,000
Kyle Seager $19,500,000 $19,500,000 $18,500,000
Mike Leake $11,000,000 $11,000,000 $5,000,000
Dee Gordon $13,300,000 $13,800,000 $1,000,000
Jean Segura $14,850,000 $14,850,000 $14,850,000
Juan Nicasio $9,250,000 FA
Wade LeBlanc $2,300,000 [$450,000] OPT
Alex Colome ARB-2 ($5.3m) ARB-3 FA
Roenis Elias ARB-1 ($598,000) ARB-2 ARB-3
Marco Gonzales $900,000 $1,000,000 ARB-1
Edwin Diaz TC ARB-1 ARB-2
Sam Tuivailala TC ARB-1 ARB-2
Mitch Haniger TC ARB-1 ARB-2
James Pazos TC ARB-1 ARB-2
Mallex Smith TC ARB-1 ARB-2
Ben Gamel TC ARB-1 ARB-2
Ryon Healy TC ARB-1 ARB-2
Shawn Armstrong TC TC ARB-1
Chasen Bradford TC TC ARB-1
Dan Altavilla TC TC ARB-1
Kris Negron TC TC ARB-1
Nick Rumbelow TC TC TC
Matt Festa TC TC TC
Casey Lawrence TC TC TC
Erik Swanson TC TC TC
David Freitas TC TC TC
Ruben Alaniz TC TC TC
Dan Vogelbach TC TC TC
Max Povse TC TC TC
Justus Sheffield TC TC TC
Dylan Moore TC TC TC
Joey Curletta TC TC TC
Braden Bishop TC TC TC
John Andreoli TC TC TC
TOTAL $122,957,143 $84,600,000 $63,350,000



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