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The 2011 Mariners

Or, the alternative title, "How To Make The 2010 Mariners Palatable To Watch." This season is over, and it has been for a while. As a result, my emotional investment in this season has gone down the toilet, and that's probably the healthy thing to do with a team like this.

However, I still care about the Mariners, and even if wins and losses don't matter in 2010, the games do. Wins and losses still matter for the 2011 M's, and what happens between now and then will alter the outlook of that team.

This is my way of saying to not expect much more about the 2010 Mariners here. Current players will still be talked about plenty, but more with an eye towards what it all means for next year, when wins and losses matter again.

Here are your 2011 Seattle Mariners, in order of salary (all following salary info from Cot's Baseball Contracts):

  • OF Ichiro Suzuki ($18 million)
  • OF Milton Bradley ($13.33 million)
  • SP Felix Hernandez ($10.7 million)
  • 2B Chone Figgins ($9.5 million)
  • SS Jack Wilson ($5 million)
  • OF Franklin Gutierrez ($4.313 million)
  • 3B Jose Lopez ($2.75 million)
  • 2B Dustin Ackley ($1.5 million)
That's it for guaranteed money, aside from $5.5 million still owed to Carlos Silva, and $1 million owed to Yuniesky Betancourt.

Here are your arbitration-eligible 2011 Seattle Mariners, with 2010 salaries in parentheses:

  • 1B Casey Kotchman ($3.5175 million)
  • RHP David Aardsma ($2.75 million)
  • RHP Brandon League ($1.0875 million)
  • RHP Jamey Wright ($900,000)
  • OF Ryan Langerhans ($525,000)
  • LHP Ryan Rowland-Smith ($440,000)
  • RHP Sean White ($415,000)
  • LHP Jason Vargas ($412,500)
  • LHP Garret Olson (league minimum)
Everyone else on the 40-man roster right now is under team control next year with the exception of three impending free agents: C Josh Bard, DH/1B Mike Sweeney, 1B Russell Branyan, and LHP Erik Bedard (though both Branyan's and Bedard's contracts include some sort of mutual clauses that could be picked up in 2011, but those kinds of clauses are rarely picked up).

Basically, the players with guaranteed contracts are here to stay, no matter what, barring a trade. Ideally, the core of the team can be found in this group. Tomorrow's post will look at them as a core group, and what kind of help they will need as the 2011 nucleus.

The arbitration-eligible players are the ones that teams must make a choice on. Players on this list stay under team control as long as they are offered arbitration. Otherwise, they become free agents. Later in the week will be a post about this group, and what kind of decisions the Mariners face.

Like everyone else, I am looking for meaning in the 2010 season. 2011 is where I am finding it.