I just don't see the competitive team this year. I don't think they are 10 million away. I would have not signed some that they did, cutting the budget further. I wouldn't have done it for the purpose of cutting he budget. I would have done it for the development of younger players with an eye on the next playoff win. The signed the players they did to appease fans. They couldn't justify cutting the budget further as a means of development. John is right. We can trade players in the summer. Trades are not that easy, though. Little can be expected in return for our investment. Look at the bounty we received for Delmon Young and Jim Thome.
I think they'll put their best foot forward into July, but if things fall apart, I wouldn't be shocked if you see a lot of those veterans traded and a lot of the youngsters with a lot more time, especially Parmelee, Benson, Dozier and some of the pitchers.
In the vain of this article - are the Twins approaching a cycle of mediocrity, I fear that may be the case. I don't think it's been pre-destined that will happen, but I think ownership with their tight budget may force it to happen. They lowered the budget this year because they project lower revenue as a result of how horrible they were last year. The key word is PROJECT. In my mind it kind of becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy when you don't spend the necessary dollars to compete. If they Twins had invested another $10 million this year to make the bullpen better and provide another quality bat or SP we would all be rightfully excited about where this team was headed. However, cutting the payroll makes the team worse, meaning less fans show up this year, they cut again next year and we are back to the dome days, despite "investing" hundreds of millions of taxes so the Twins didn't cry poverty every year. The fact that this is happening just 2 years after the new stadium has opened really angers me.
The core of this team is pretty much the same as it was in 2010 with Doumit replacing Kubel (and Thome), Willingham replacing Cuddyer, Carroll replacing Hardy and Revere/Plouffe replacing Young. If Morneau stays healthy and performs (he did not in 2010) then this team might actually be better, with Casilla and Span a year closer to their primes than before their primes.
The only change from the 2010 team as far as the rotation goes is that they have a full year of Pavano instead of a combination of Pavano/Perkins and that Marquis replaced Slowey.
In the pen, the changes from 2010 is that Perkins replaced Rauch (Duensing and Capps were there), Swarzak replaced Mahay and still looking for the replacements to Guerrier, Crain and Mijares. If 2-3 pitchers step up, this can be a good pen
And the 2010 team was a 94 win team. They just need to be and stay healthy
Two things are in the Twins favor. The AL Central offers 19 games each against KC, Cleveland, and Chicago as opposed to Boston, New York, or Tampa Bay if we played in the East. The other is the introduction of the 2nd wild card - as the Twins have shown an affinity for game #163.