• The Rising Tide

    The free agent market has been slow to develop early in the offseason, with very few high-profile signings in the books as Thanksgiving approaches. Things should start kicking into gear now that the Winter Meetings are just two weeks away, but it's worth wondering whether the first few contracts are indicators of how the offseason climate will shape up once the dominos really begin to fall.

    When the Cubs lured Scott Baker away from the Twins earlier in the month, many were surprised that it took $5.5 million in guaranteed money to do so. That's just more than you typically see going to a mostly unproven player coming off major surgery.

    The baseball world did another double-take last week when Melky Cabrera signed a two-year, $16 million deal with the Jays. The outfielder's performance over the past couple seasons has justified that type of payday and then some, but is tainted by a 50-game PED suspension.

    Two guys with sizable question marks getting big guaranteed money. At that rate, just imagine what will happen when the established, healthy and relatively spot-free free agents begin to sign.

    Now, by nature, contracts signed in November tend to come out higher than expected. The players who sign early are generally coveted by particular clubs that will put forth an "offer they can't refuse" to finish the deal. That might be what we're seeing here.

    Then again, this also might be a sign that money will be flowing freely this winter. Every MLB club is in line to receive a major revenue boost in a year when new TV deals with Fox and Turner Sports kick in. Factor in other streams and basic inflation, and we could be looking at an overall market shift toward higher spending.

    If that's the case, the $20 million that we expect the Twins to have in the coffers might not go as far as we'd hoped. But we won't be able to make that assumption until a few more contracts are inked and we have a more representative sample to consider.

    At the end of the day, it might just turn out that the Cubs and Jays were very eager to make a splash.
    This article was originally published in blog: The Rising Tide started by Nick Nelson
    Comments 18 Comments
    1. glunn's Avatar
      glunn -
      Great article. I hope that the Twins decide to spend at least some of the increased TV dollars.
    1. beckmt's Avatar
      beckmt -
      I also hope the Twins spend the money. It is now all over that FA pitching is going to be more expensive than it was thought. $20 mil may only buy one #2 or #3 type pitcher. On mlbtraderumors it was brought up that Greinke wants 6 years $150 million. Their was also a link that discussed the Yankees may just have to suck it up and pay the luxury tax to stay relevant. This type of talk will only make the agents hold out for top end bucks for their better free agents. I do believe some of the agents are holding back possibly signing until the market shakes out a little more. No agent was to be accused of having their clients sign sweetheart deals.
    1. mike wants wins's Avatar
      mike wants wins -
      They have plenty of money, whether they choose to use it on players or profit is the question yet to be answered.
    1. CC7's Avatar
      CC7 -
      the Twins have 25 million to spend, if they try and dump willingham, span, and mourneau thats around 40-45. Twins need to rebuild, they need to gut the system
    1. Dave T's Avatar
      Dave T -
      If the Twins add enough good starting pitching, they are contenders again. Why start over?
    1. AllhopeisgoneMNTWINS's Avatar
      AllhopeisgoneMNTWINS -
      Quote Originally Posted by CC7 View Post
      the Twins have 25 million to spend, if they try and dump willingham, span, and mourneau thats around 40-45. Twins need to rebuild, they need to gut the system
      You went a little overboard. The twins do not need to gut the system.
    1. CC7's Avatar
      CC7 -
      well haha some of it
    1. Todd G's Avatar
      Todd G -
      Sorry guys, but we've got WAY too much to do with $20 million than we can possibly hope to get done in one season. We've got a grand total of 1 starting pitcher, and he's a #3. We can get a 4 & 5 from our system, but we need a 1 and a 2, and they don't exactly grow on trees. Those that think our offense is fine may need to reassess that. We were average in runs scored for major leagues, but towards the bottom in the AL (where we play our games). We lack power, have a ? at third and first base, a redundant CF and RF and have two absolute offensive holes in the middle infield (and I'm not convinced our SS is that great of a fielder either).

      All of that is a LOT to fill in in one season. It leads me to the conclusion that we don't need tweeks, we need a major overhaul. If we try to contend, without significant rebuilding for the future, we'll (at best) be in middle-ground hell.

      We need to aim higher than the middle.
    1. old nurse's Avatar
      old nurse -
      The current payroll stands at about 75 million. It is more than 20 million that Ryan can spend. More like 35-45 million. From that you would need to find 4 starters, 4 relievers, ss, 2b, backup outfielder and catcher. Most of those players will be minimum wage guys. It should leave 30-40 million for three starters and an infielder. The Pohlads would still make money. It can be done but it isn't going to happen in November. Trading Span would mean finding another outfielder with the 4.75. That can't be done easily.
    1. CC7's Avatar
      CC7 -
      Rays and Braves should be #1 trade partners
      D-Backs and Twins are a fit, i think they should try to swing a deal with Mourneau, Hicks, and low level prospect to Arizona for Bauer. Theres are future ace
    1. ThePuck's Avatar
      ThePuck -
      Quote Originally Posted by Dave T View Post
      If the Twins add enough good starting pitching, they are contenders again. Why start over?
      Because they won't
    1. ThePuck's Avatar
      ThePuck -
      Quote Originally Posted by Todd G View Post
      Sorry guys, but we've got WAY too much to do with $20 million than we can possibly hope to get done in one season. We've got a grand total of 1 starting pitcher, and he's a #3. We can get a 4 & 5 from our system, but we need a 1 and a 2, and they don't exactly grow on trees. Those that think our offense is fine may need to reassess that. We were average in runs scored for major leagues, but towards the bottom in the AL (where we play our games). We lack power, have a ? at third and first base, a redundant CF and RF and have two absolute offensive holes in the middle infield (and I'm not convinced our SS is that great of a fielder either).

      All of that is a LOT to fill in in one season. It leads me to the conclusion that we don't need tweeks, we need a major overhaul. If we try to contend, without significant rebuilding for the future, we'll (at best) be in middle-ground hell.

      We need to aim higher than the middle.
      Nice post!
    1. edavis0308's Avatar
      edavis0308 -
      Diamond is a #3? I think that's a bit optimistic. I'm not convinced on that yet.
    1. ThePuck's Avatar
      ThePuck -
      Quote Originally Posted by edavis0308 View Post
      Diamond is a #3? I think that's a bit optimistic. I'm not convinced on that yet.
      It is optimistic, but it's not out of the realm of possibility either. I imagine he'll settle into being the kind of pitcher who will gives us close to 200 innings with an ERA a little over 4.00. That's a pretty decent #3. Problem is, he'll likely be slotted as our ace going into this season.
    1. Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
      Brock Beauchamp -
      Quote Originally Posted by edavis0308 View Post
      Diamond is a #3? I think that's a bit optimistic. I'm not convinced on that yet.
      Eh, me neither but I think he'll be serviceable. The Twins just need a lot of pitchers, period.
    1. Jack Torse's Avatar
      Jack Torse -
      If the Twins add 20 million dollars it would be unprecedented and until I see them do it for the 1st time I'm not predicting it here. I'm using their entire franchise history as my basis for formulating that opinion. Willingham was nice and showed a step forward but they knew they were saving money because they let Cuddy and Kubel go.
    1. USAFChief's Avatar
      USAFChief -
      Quote Originally Posted by Jack Torse View Post
      If the Twins add 20 million dollars it would be unprecedented and until I see them do it for the 1st time I'm not predicting it here. I'm using their entire franchise history as my basis for formulating that opinion. Willingham was nice and showed a step forward but they knew they were saving money because they let Cuddy and Kubel go.
      If the Twins "add" $20M to their current obligations for 2013 they're barely at 2010 levels.
    1. Kwak's Avatar
      Kwak -
      The consensus seems to be: the Twins stink, and will continue to stink until they draft/develop enough young talent to resume relevency. It is impossible to sign enough quality veterans through free agency to be a playoff team.
©2014 TwinsCentric, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
Interested in advertising with Twins Daily? Click here.