Today is the day. After weeks of prep, today is that day. The day where our staff’s hard work is finally realized and we unveil to the world our 2019 Seattle Mariners Off-Season Plan!
Now for those of you who are not familiar with the concept, basically our writers are asked to play Seattle Mariners GM and plan out an attack plan for this off-season. This means everything from trades, free agency, Rule 5 draft, and arbitration is all factors to deal with.
After each of our participating writers had an individual plan, we got together on our Discord (you can join by clicking here) and hashed out a plan for the entire site. After 8 hours of debate over the past 2 days, we are ready to unveil our plan.
But before we do, it is important to note that we had rules we needed to follow. First, there is the matter of money. For our operating budget, we set a cap at $175 million for the 40 man roster. The figure is roughly where the Mariners finished at the end of the 2017 season, and just a slight raise from where they finished in 2018.
For a reference point, the Mariners started with $132 million in guaranteed contracts before accounting for the 9 players who were arbitration eligible. The combined salaries of these 9 players left the team at $162 million already.
Thankfully, real life Mariners GM Jerry Dipoto did a lot of the heavy lifting there, waiving 6 players who were arbitration eligible, leaving only James Paxton, Alex Colome, and Mike Zunino due arbitration. All 3 players were extended arbitration offers from our panel, bringing the total starting payroll number in $150 million. So basically, we had $25 million to work with.
In addition to the payroll restrictions, the team was not allowed to trade Edwin Diaz, Mitch Haniger, or Marco Gonzales. At the time, we believed the Mariners wouldn’t be willing to truly rebuild so for simplicity, we took them off the table.
But of course, soon after wrapping up our plan, news broke that the Mariners are indeed willing to tear things down. After a brief debate, we decided that we would continue to bring you our original plan.
With all that in mind, we present to you, our 2018 Sodo Mojo’s Off-Season Plan!