Sorting through the Miguel Olivo contract situation

It’s been widely reported — including here — that free agent catcher Miguel Olivo signed a two-year, $7 million deal with the Mariners. And the presumption thus was that he’d be earning about $3.5 million for the coming season.

OlivoMiguelMug10.jpgTurns out, neither number is entirely accurate, according to information obtained by MLB.com.

Olivo will actually earn $6.25 million for the next two seasons. While he is guaranteed to make at least $7 million from the Mariners, that includes a potential $750,000 buyout from the club if it declines its option for a third season in 2013.

The veteran catcher will make $2.75 million for the coming year — a $2.25 million base contract, plus a $500,000 signing bonus.

He is due to make $3.5 million the following year in 2012. Then the Mariners have the option of either giving Olivo the $750,000 buyout in ’13 or keeping him for that third season at a $3 million base salary that could rise to as much as $3.75 million based on his amount of playing time in 2011 and ’12.

While we’re talking contracts, the Mariners will pay both infielder Adam Kennedy and catcher Josh Bard $750,000 if they make the Major League roster. Both veterans signed Minor League deals recently.

Kennedy’s contract includes further playing-time bonuses that start kicking in at $50,000 for 350 plate appearances. He could earn up to an additional $450,000 if he maxes out at 600 plate appearances.

Bard has a similar deal, though his bonuses begin at 300 plate appearances and max out at $250,000 for 500 plate appearances.

Both veterans have language in their deals that allows them to request their release if they’re not on the Major League roster when training camp breaks at the end of March.

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