Mariners Analysis

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

M's $90 million payroll a myth

Going into this season, most fans expected the M's payroll to be in the $90-93 million range. Considering the huge amount of revenue the team brings in, this allowed the M's to field a good team AND make a nice profit.

However, by not signing a Tejada-caliber player, and with Kaz leaving, the M's opening roster was actually $81 million.

If we subtract Kevin Jarvis' salary, who should have never been on the club in the first place, the current salary is actually closer to $75 million. If Rich Aurilia were to be dropped, and with Q released, the M's would have roughly $70 million in payroll on the field.

To put that into comparison, fans everywhere like to talk about how frugal the A's are, and how they are able to beat teams like the M's with a lower payroll. The opening day roster for the Oakland Athletics was $59 million. This means the difference in salary between the M's and Athletics is not nearly as large as many of us imagined.

The M's are not paying TWICE the salary as the Athletics, even though the revenue difference is HUGE between the two clubs.

When we try to figure out what the M's should do, it is important to keep in mind money is not the problem. They have plenty- in fact, you could make the case the M's are not spending enough. Keep a rainy day fund, and you are inviting showers.