2011 Mariners Payroll Will Not Drop

I don't really want to write a post about the Mariners. Not a day after Dave Niehaus' passing. It feels a little too soon. I don't know when it won't feel weird to write about something else, but I know it feels weird tonight.

Nevertheless, I think this is sufficiently important news that it merits some kind of mention. If you can forgive me for changing the subject real quick:

Earlier in the day Wednesday, however, it was all baseball at Safeco Field. It was the annual owners' meeting, and the owners set the budget for the 2011 season.

According to a source who was in the room, the Mariners, whose problems in the 2010 season started when they trimmed about $10 million from the 2009 budget, won't be going down that road again.

"The player payroll for the 2011 season will not go down," the source told FanHouse Thursday.

Now, Matthew has already established that, even with a similar budget to last season, the Mariners won't have much money to play with this winter. Guys like Felix, Ichiro, Chone Figgins, Milton Bradley, and Carlos Silva are eating up a lot of scratch, and there's little wiggle room left.

However, remember that attendance was down about 5% last year. It would've been very, very easy - and justifiable - for ownership to say that, okay, we can't make that kind of investment again. It would've been borderline unmanageable, but it would've made financial sense.

So, overall, this is good news. The M's won't have much money to spend, but they will have some, and they could clear further space by, say, moving David Aardsma, or Bradley somehow in a deal where they don't cover the whole cost. Basically, there are options.

A little theory of mine is that, in any given offseason, there exists some combination of doable moves that could turn any team into a championship contender. Hopefully Zduriencik is able to figure them out.

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