Thehad three players who were eligible for arbitration. Today brought a league-wide deadline for teams and players to file. In news that isn't really news but that I am determined to make seem like news, the Mariners have successfully avoided arbitration by reaching settlements with all three players.
According to those settlements, all three players are now guaranteed insane amounts of money over the course of the next year. Greg Johns has details. Jason Vargas will make 4.85 million dollars. Brandon League will make 5 million dollars. Shawn Kelley will make six hundred thousand dollars, with fifty thousand dollars in incentives. Look at these amounts of money! They are such large amounts of money!
Last year, Vargas made 2.45 million dollars. His salary is basically doubling. Last year, League made 2.25 million dollars. His salary is more than doubling. Last year, Kelley made four hundred twenty thousand dollars. His salary is not doubling, but is getting much bigger. Think about how much you make. Think about how much these players will make. Think about how much more these players will make in 2012, compared to 2011. Think about that! The money! It's so much money! If it doesn't seem like that much money to you, you might notice that there is a Donations link along the left sidebar.
I, like a lot of people, think the baseball salary structure is kind of broken, given how little young players make relative to veterans. But the current salary structure allows a guy like Vargas to earn a raise of more than two million dollars by pitching no better than he pitched the season before. I was messing around above, but that has to be a pretty fantastic feeling for Jason and the Vargas family(?).
2011 Vargas: /goes to the store
2011 Vargas: /wants cherries
2011 Vargas: /sad
2012 Vargas: /goes to the store
2012 Vargas: /wants cherries
2012 Vargas: /can afford cherries
Cherries are so damn expensive. This recipe calling for cherries and saffron is the stuff only of fanciful dreams.
Anyhoo, Jason Vargas, Brandon League and Shawn Kelley will keep pitching next season, and they'll make more than they ever have doing it. One of my favorite things around this time of year is watching for people who think these arbitration settlements prevent a player from becoming a free agent. "I'm glad to see Brandon League will pitch again for the Mariners in 2012!" one might say, as if it weren't already guaranteed. These people live in fear of that which doesn't exist. It is a dark life, and a bright one.
Based on my calculations, the 2012 Mariners as currently constructed are up to a payroll of about $79.3 million. If Hisashi Iwakuma and Brendan Ryan max out their incentives, that goes up to $83.5 million. The actual payroll could be a little more than this if some guys aren't making just the league minimum. In any case, what's clear is that the Mariners have a fairly significant amount of room left, unless they're intending to trim payroll. I should hope that they do not, but we'll see where the next month takes us. I hope it isn't Hartford. I really don't want to go back to Hartford.