• Money Matters

    Originally posted at Knuckleballsblog.com.

    I’m constantly struck by how so many otherwise intelligent people suddenly sound like idiots when discussing issues related to money. A number of these people are certainly not idiots… they’re accomplished business owners and/or people who have achieved considerable success at running businesses. So if they aren’t as stupid as the words they’re saying makes them sound, one can only assume that they think the people hearing/reading their words are stupid enough to believe what they’re saying.

    Yes, I’m referring primarily to the Twins front office.


    It was over a month ago that the Twins held a press conference and made owner Jim Pohlad, President Dave St. Peter and General Manager Terry Ryan available to the mainstream media. Predictably, the topic of the team’s potential 2013 payroll came up. Also predictably, the Twins brass was non-committal. Here’s an excerpt from the story written at the time by MLB.com’s Twins beat reporter Rhett Bollinger (click here for the link):
    Pohlad said that payroll will not be a concern this offseason, but wouldn’t give a firm number on what that will be. The Twins entered the 2012 season with a payroll right around $100 million.

    “We’ve never told anybody they have to spend ‘X’ dollars or that they can’t spend whatever they are recommending,” Pohlad said. “So it could go up, it could go down. It’s whatever Terry tells us. We’ve talked about spending in that 50 percent of revenue, but it doesn’t mean Terry will spend that.”


    Ryan said that the payroll situation will be fluid and that it should not hinder him from acquiring the starting pitching the club needs to compete next season.


    “I think we can quit fooling ourselves that money is the answer,” Ryan said. “We’re going to have to make good decisions to create a pitching staff that’s going to give us a chance.”

    Well, I’m glad they put that question to rest, aren’t you? I’m so glad to know that money doesn’t matter.

    We don’t know whether the Twins could have made a deal with the Marlins for the same package of players that they dealt to Toronto last week. There’s absolutely no doubt, however, that the addition of Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle and Jose Reyes would have gone a long way toward addressing the biggest holes in the Twins lineup and the level of players the Jays sent back to Miami certainly could have been made available by the Twins.

    So why wasn’t it the Twins that made the deal? I don’t know. But it’s such a friggin relief to know that whatever the reason was, it wasn’t money!

    The Twins also lost Scott Baker to the Cubs last week. Baker got a good deal. $5.5 million guaranteed with another $1.5 million in incentives on a straight one year deal. According to the Star Tribune’s beat reporter, Joe Christensen, the Twins were very interested in keeping Baker, but wanted an option year for 2014, which Baker wouldn’t agree to. Again, it makes me feel so much better to know that the reason Baker won’t be wearing a Twins uniform in 2013 had nothing whatsoever to do with money.

    Here’s something I’ve learned from working in Corporate America for the past 30+ years: Whenever someone in senior management tells you, “It’s not about the money,” that means that money is exactly what it’s all about.

    As Twins fans, we’ve become programmed to just accept the “company line.” We’ve been hearing it since the days of Calvin Griffith and on through the Pohlad era at the Metrodome. Sure, there were hints that having a new stadium and the revenues it would generate might change things, but by and large, the fan base has continued to just accept the, “we’ll spend 50% of revenue on payroll,” line of crap that has always come out of the Twins’ offices.

    It has become second nature, to the point where Twins fans seem to almost think that’s how every Major League team does business and we act surprised when other teams behave differently.

    The Tigers went to the World Series, but clearly needed to improve at a corner outfield position. They looked for the best option on the market, moved quickly and signed Torii Hunter to a deal that seemed like it was a little excessive, given his age. How can they do that? Won’t that mean their payroll might exceed half of their revenues? Ah, but they’ve got an old owner who wants to win a World Series before he dies, so that’s why they can do what the Twins won’t, right?

    The Blue Jays saw themselves needing much the same kind of help that the Twins need. They agreed to take on more years of higher salaries than they might have really been comfortable with, but they made the deal because they want to compete. But that’s ridiculous, right? Boy, they’ll sure regret having Buehrle and Reyes on the payroll toward the back end of those contracts because in a couple of years, their payroll might exceed half their revenues! Ah, but they’re owned by a giant Communications conglomerate and that’s why they aren’t limited as to payroll.

    I’ve got a news flash, folks. Every team starts the offseason with a self-examination that identifies what their biggest needs are. The next step for most teams that are committed to being competitive is to identify the best options available via free agency or trades to meet the identified needs. Unless you’re the Rays (who have a whole bunch of financial issues unrelated to the quality of their team), your front office knows that the quality of the product on the field drives revenue.

    But if you’re a Twins fan, you’ve been conditioned not to ask who would best fill the team’s needs, but who would fit in to the Twins’ designated payroll limit. That’s because the Twins have historically seemed oblivious to the basic business tenet that product quality drives revenues.

    They’ve brainwashed fans in to believing that the only reasonable way to operate a business is by subscribing to the theory that a drop in revenues last year means they must cut payroll next year. It’s time for fans to become deprogrammed from that mindset and let the Twins know that their fan base is not as stupid as the club has treated them as being.

    Maybe I’m being premature with this criticism. After all, it’s still early in the offseason and the Winter Meetings are still a couple of weeks away. Terry Ryan may actually sign honest-to-goodness legitimate starting pitchers to fill the Twins’ needs in that area, regardless of the cost. He may make a trade or two that will improve the middle infield, even if it means making his bosses nervous. Maybe he’ll prove that his words about payroll not hindering him from doing his job were more than just more of the same BS we’ve heard for the past decade.

    But until the Twins start ACTING like money doesn’t matter, they should stop saying it. It just makes them look like fools… or like they think that’s what we are.

    - JC
    This article was originally published in blog: Money Matters started by Jim Crikket
    Comments 90 Comments
    1. USAFChief's Avatar
      USAFChief -
      Quote Originally Posted by Bill Parker View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by mike wants wins View Post
      And how will they have pitching in2015 if they do not sign free agents then? What are the odds they have hitters as good as morneau and Willingham and span? Or that Mauer is still great?
      Haha, I give up. I'm just going to repeat my request from the message to Jim above: please find me examples of teams that lost around 100 games two years in a row, then spent a bunch of money, and it ended up as anything but a disaster for the team. Even just one example would really be something.

      FInd me examples of teams with clearly defined needs, and no relief in sight, that sat around and did nothing but hope, that magically became WS contenders.

      Find me examples of periods where the Twins saved payroll space, put it in the bank, and then spent it a few years later to fix holes on later teams.

      You spend one page arguing that signing free agents is stupid, and then turn around and tell us the Twins should (and will) sign free agents in a couple years when a minor league system with few potential impact players magically turns their every day lineup into a serious contender. If signing FAs is inherently stupid, why will it be a good idea a couple years from now?

      There is room to improve the team now, and still hope to improve the team later. Even IF this optomistic rebirth occurs in some unspecified year, there isn't enough pitching in the minor leagues to fill out a competitive staff. Nothing says you can't start assembling that staff now.
    1. Kwak's Avatar
      Kwak -
      Quote Originally Posted by Bill Parker View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by Kwak View Post
      The destruction of the 2010 team (in order to extend Mauer) was a clear indication that the original premise was false. The Twins didn't extend Mauer (with his increase) and keep the rest of the team.
      Wait, what? They didn't destroy anything, or at least not for financial reasons. They traded Hardy, stupidly, but it was because they didn't like him, not because he was expensive. They brought Thome and Pavano back. They let Cuddyer and Kubel go when other teams were willing to pay them way, way more than they were worth, and brought back Willingham and Doumit, better players at better prices. The team was "destroyed" by injury, not financial decisions.
      But payroll wasn't a problem? Overpaid? Denver is a losing team that has neither rudder nor engine. Cuddyer was very well received by COL. Kubel definitely helped AZ and appears to me he earned every dollar he was paid. What? Are you implying the Twins couldn't afford Willingham and one of these guys? The Nathan/Capps two-headed closer? Nathan was injured and Gardenhire requires a defined closer--the Twins were stuck with two salaries to play one position rather than an attempt to have an elite bullpen to win more games. True, injuries did hurt the Twins badly--and those guys are being removed one-by-one from the active roster as their contract expires--and replaced by low salaried players. I can live with a rebuilding team--one that admits to it as they do it. I don't appreciate the facade of "we'll be competitive next year after we..."--when that isn't the plan. We were informed early on that Ryan believed there wasn't much in pitching free-agency, so there is no need to be coy about being competitive in 2013.
    1. JB_Iowa's Avatar
      JB_Iowa -
      It seems to me that there is a common consensus that the Twins need to acquire significantly better starting pitching than they have had for a number of years. I think there is also a general consensus that, although the Twins farm system has generally improved, the starting pitching prospects in the minors aren't optimal even allowing several years for development.

      What should make every Twins fan concerned (if not hopping mad) is that we have yet to see a willingness by this team to spend ANY ASSETS to acquire the pitching they need. Assets are assets. Whether they are existing players, prospects or cash. Some are more valuable than others and some have more potential than others but they are all assets (basically with an assignable dollar value if you are all astute enough to do that).

      We're getting caught up in how many cash assets should be spent for next year. The real question, for me, is whether the Twins are willing to spend ANY assets to acquire better starting pitching or whether they are just going to keep looking in the bargain bins.
    1. Jim Crikket's Avatar
      Jim Crikket -
      Quote Originally Posted by dwintheiser View Post
      I mean, let's be honest here, guys -- the 'we don't spend enough money' meme is starting to sound like a broken record, getting repeated over and over again even when it's not deserved. The Twins were in the upper half of baseball in payroll in 2012, and half the teams in the playoffs spent less money than they did. The Twins were in the top 10 in payroll in 2011, and over half the teams in the post-season spent less money, including the division-winning Tigers.
      I see... so since the Twins ponied up $23 mil a year for Mauer, the front office is off the hook and any criticism is unwarranted because his salary alone moves them in to the mid-range of MLB payrolls. I guess none of us need to bother even mentioning payroll throughout the remainder of Mauer's contract because that alone proves the Pohlads are willing to spend enough money to field a quality product, regardless of results on the field.
    1. MWLFan's Avatar
      MWLFan -
      JC- Your point about people saying it is not about the money is true for the owners as well as for the players. Both sides drink from the same cup of BS on that one.

      I guess it doesn't really rattle me all that much on how other people spend their money. Sometimes it is foolish, I had a friend with a extensive Zubaz collection in the day, and have learned not to get to involved in the idiocy of others. Now what it does mean is that the longer it goes on for the Twins not putting a competitive team on the field the less interest and $$$ I will spend on them and MLB altogether. (No MLBTV subscription next year for example.) Just more time pursuing other interests in the summer time and less worrying about the twists and turns of various millionaires and billionaires. Hence my affection for the minor leagues.

      If folks want to get all their tighty whities bunched up around themselves because the Twins didn't pick up Buerhle, Johnson and Reyes in November of 2012 have at it. Only time will tell if this was wasted $$ on the Blue Jays part and wasted time, wind, energy and brain cells for us.

      Could be worse, try being a baseball fan in the Florida. One teams management doesn't care if the team is awful and the others fan base doesn't care that they have a very good team.

      Hope you all have a truely wonderful Thanksgiving and take some time away from the trials and tribulations of the Twins for a couple of days.
    1. DAM DC Twins Fans's Avatar
      DAM DC Twins Fans -
      Having just spent 20 minutes reading all these messages--I think the main point has been lost. The Twins have poor pitching and middle IF. Spending $35 million (over 3 years) on starting pitching like Jackson, Blanton, etc. is not going to help much. If we are lucky the cost will be slightly less than a million a win...none of these guys are aces...none will win 15 games next year with the current Twins. The one thing the Twins have done over the past 5 years is develop OF--the obvious answer is to trade one of Span, Revere, Arcia or Hicks or Willingham for a decent starter (as good as Jackson at least) and figure how to develop pitching and infield...spending $60million on two of this year's free agent pitchers will not help anything...
    1. ThePuck's Avatar
      ThePuck -
      Quote Originally Posted by JB_Iowa View Post
      It seems to me that there is a common consensus that the Twins need to acquire significantly better starting pitching than they have had for a number of years. I think there is also a general consensus that, although the Twins farm system has generally improved, the starting pitching prospects in the minors aren't optimal even allowing several years for development.

      What should make every Twins fan concerned (if not hopping mad) is that we have yet to see a willingness by this team to spend ANY ASSETS to acquire the pitching they need. Assets are assets. Whether they are existing players, prospects or cash. Some are more valuable than others and some have more potential than others but they are all assets (basically with an assignable dollar value if you are all astute enough to do that).

      We're getting caught up in how many cash assets should be spent for next year. The real question, for me, is whether the Twins are willing to spend ANY assets to acquire better starting pitching or whether they are just going to keep looking in the bargain bins.
      Like this post a lot...
    1. Willihammer's Avatar
      Willihammer -
      Quote Originally Posted by USAFChief View Post
      Nicely done.

      I think proof of your theory can be found in this: there are those on this very site who believe that when a extra $25M drops out of the sky in 2014 (from new national TV deals), the Twins can only put half of that money towards the on field product.
      Your guy Scott Boras has already worked this fact into his negotiations. Probably all the agents. If you think the FA SP market is spendy now, it is only going to get worse after that kicks in and the FA supply maybe isn't so deep.
    1. Jim Crikket's Avatar
      Jim Crikket -
      Quote Originally Posted by DAM DC Twins Fans View Post
      Having just spent 20 minutes reading all these messages--I think the main point has been lost. The Twins have poor pitching and middle IF. Spending $35 million (over 3 years) on starting pitching like Jackson, Blanton, etc. is not going to help much. If we are lucky the cost will be slightly less than a million a win...none of these guys are aces...none will win 15 games next year with the current Twins. The one thing the Twins have done over the past 5 years is develop OF--the obvious answer is to trade one of Span, Revere, Arcia or Hicks or Willingham for a decent starter (as good as Jackson at least) and figure how to develop pitching and infield...spending $60million on two of this year's free agent pitchers will not help anything...
      I agree that perhaps the point I was trying to make with the original post has been clouded through the comment thread, even if I don't 100% agree with the rest of your comment. To get back to my original point, take another look at this quote from Terry Ryan:

      “I think we can quit fooling ourselves that money is the answer,” Ryan said. “We’re going to have to make good decisions to create a pitching staff that’s going to give us a chance.”

      While I absolutely agree that making good decisions is critical and that having money will not assure that all of your decisions are good ones, the first part of the quote is what bothers me. You simply can not minimize the fact that money IS a big part of the answer. Having it available means you have more options from which to choose as you ponder those "good decisions" than if you don't have it available. As for the "quit fooling ourselves" part, I suspect his bosses would have had a problem with him saying such a thing when they were lobbying for a new stadium a few years back. At that time, ownership was indeed contending that their existing stadium situation put them at a financial disadvantage... making money certainly a big part of "the answer." So were the Twins fooling themselves then? Or were they fooling their fans... and local taxpayers?
    1. Winston Smith's Avatar
      Winston Smith -
      Quote Originally Posted by mike wants wins View Post
      I guess I should give up also, since no one will answer how they will ever have pitching if they will not sign free agents.....look, I cannot name a team other than Philly or new York or the dodgers or Marlins that have tried this. That does not imply it cannot work. Your path is virtually certain to condemn them to being awful for at least two more years, and even then, they still will not sign free agents. So it seems they are stuck
      A good example is the Tigers. Fister from the Mariners, Sanchez from the Marlins and Sherzer in the Granderson trade. However they traded a lot of prospects and for the most part those prospects like most prospects haven't done much. Ryan hasn't ever shown that he is willing to do these kinds of trades, so signing free agents is what's left.
    1. ThePuck's Avatar
      ThePuck -
      'As for the "quit fooling ourselves" part, I suspect his bosses would have had a problem with him saying such a thing when they were lobbying for a new stadium a few years back. At that time, ownership was indeed contending that their existing stadium situation put them at a financial disadvantage... making money certainly a big part of "the answer." So were the Twins fooling themselves then? Or were they fooling their fans... and local taxpayers?'

      As soon as Ryan said that whole quit fooling ourselves statement about money, a reporter with some nads should have asked him why a new stadium was needed then. Cause you're right, that's exactly what they told us, and now they said spending isn't the answer.
    1. Jim H's Avatar
      Jim H -
      A good example is the Tigers. Fister from the Mariners, Sanchez from the Marlins and Sherzer in the Granderson trade. However they traded a lot of prospects and for the most part those prospects like most prospects haven't done much
      What I find interesting is that 3 weeks before the end of the regular season, Detriot didn't look like a particularly good example of anything. They looked like a high priced, poorly constructed, under achieving, deeply flawed team about to finish 2nd to a much less talented team. Thanks to a collapse by the White Sox, and a nice post season run, they are now a team to emulate?

      Give Detriot credit for spending money and having things work out for them, at least in 2012. Whether things will continue to work for them remains to be seen. They could very easily find themselves saddled with injured/unproductive players with unmovable, huge, long term contracts. Sort of like what some people say about the Twins and Mauer.



      As far as the Twins go, they have gotten into a position where they will have to acquire starting pitching, and much of it will likely come through free agency. That is risky and if you end up handing out large multi year contracts, has a good chance of both not working out due injury or underperformance and making future moves difficult.
    1. ericchri's Avatar
      ericchri -
      Have the Twins ever "blown up" the team completely? In other words trading away many of their best players simultaneously and not backfilling with mediocre veterans to pretend they're still trying? I can't help wondering how that would be received by the fandom. The proximity to Target Field opening would certainly be a hindrance to that, but it would be refreshing to see them taking a clear path towards a specific goal of future contention as opposed to just sticking their fingers in the holes and hoping the leaks don't grow. I can't honestly see it happening, but I'd rather watch a bunch of rookies lose 100 games than a bunch of veterans lose 85-90.

      For me to be fairly confident the team was going to be a legitimately competitive team next season, I think they need 3 starting pitchers, one bullpen arm, and a middle infielder that isn't a well-below-average hitter. And that doesn't guarantee anything, cause then you're banking on health and continued above average production from a lot of people it wouldn't be shocking to see not produce like they did this year (Willingham, Plouffe, Burton, Burnett, Diamond).

      A part of me thinks my offseason plan might be to go ahead and give Grienke and Anibal Sanchez what they want and call it good. I honestly don't care much for most of the other FA pitchers as any kind of solution that helps us long-term. If you can get the Pohlads to let you spend $110 million next year, you might actually have a team that can compete in the AL Central if everything breaks right (yes, that means everything, which isn't likely, but who knows), and if not, sell off assets (Willingham, Morneau, Span/Revere, Burton, etc...) at the deadline or next offseason. At that point we should have more players looking major league ready (Arcia, Hicks, Parmelee who probably is right now, Gibson, a whole bunch of minor league relievers to choose from). And we might have as many as four theoretically legit starters (Grienke, Sanchez, Gibson, Diamond) to anchor the rotation for many years. With the rotation and Mauer eating up most of the money we have to go young everywhere else, but that's where our minor leagues look decent anyway.
    1. Jim Crikket's Avatar
      Jim Crikket -
      Quote Originally Posted by Bill Parker View Post
      Haha, I give up. I'm just going to repeat my request from the message to Jim above: please find me examples of teams that lost around 100 games two years in a row, then spent a bunch of money, and it ended up as anything but a disaster for the team. Even just one example would really be something.
      I suspect even one example won't change your mind, but the one that immediately lept to my mind was the 2006 Detroit Tigers. I do have a day job (despite what it may seem like, given how much time I spend here during the day some days), so I didn't have time to actually check my memory until now.

      The Tigers lost more than 90 games FIVE years in a row, from 2001 through 2005 (and more than 100 in two of those seasons). From 2001 through 2004, their payroll ran between $47 mil and $55 mil every year. In 2005, it jumped from $47 mil up to $69 mil... and it netted them exactly one extra win.

      But in 2006, they shelled out an additional $13 million, going up to $82 mil in payroll, largely on the basis of signing two pitchers, starter Kenny Rogers ($8 mil) and closer Todd Jones ($5.8 mil). The only other significant addition in 2006 was a rookie pitcher named Verlander. They also called up Curtis Granderson, but he was hardly a standout that year (as his 98 OPS+ will attest).

      So yes, they got a boost from a rising young ace, but there's no way that he alone would have accounted for the Tigers going from losing 91 games in 2005 to winning 95 games and a spot in the World Series in 2006.

      Rogers more than doubled his salary when he signed with Detroit. Was he worth it or did they overpay for a 41 year old innings-eater? Jones certainly wasn't perfect as a closer, so did they overpay for a 38 year old reliever near the end of his career? I don't know... but I do know they increased their payroll by nearly 20% and ended a five year run of futility by going to the World Series.

      And in today's dollars, you should probably just about double those player's salaries. It would be comparable to the Twins signing two pitchers for about $15 million and $10 million... both got multi-year deals, too, I believe.

      Is this a perfect analogy for today's Twins? Of course not. But you'll never find perfect matches for any example. That said, I think it does demonstrate that making smart free agent signings, even if it means you spend a bit more than you're accustomed to, in combination with development of young players and getting a bit of luck, can result in something quite a bit better than "a disaster."
    1. peterb18's Avatar
      peterb18 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Twins Fan From Afar View Post
      I commented on knuckleballsblog.com, and will repost it here:

      Sort of branching off of your main point about it not being about the money when it really is, I have been thinking about the Twins’ failure to develop talent at certain positions. Over the past several years, we’ve been blessed (more or less) with the ability to field a competitive outfield without having to pay a guy $20 million a year to play center field. Kirby, Torii, Denard, and even Ben Revere have done well in that position and never completly broke the bank. In other words, we haven’t had to grossly overpay for outfielders. And it’s a trend that I think will continue with guys like Oswaldo Arcia, Aaron Hicks and (hopefully) Joe Benson.

      But what do you do when you consistently cannot develop MLB average or above-average talent at a particular position? You have to pay market price, whatever that currently is, or you have to trade away prospects that you highly value in order to make up that deficit — if you want to be competitive, that is.

      With the Twins, of course, it’s the inability to develop starting pitchers that is extremely problematic (and middle infielders, too, but to a somewhat lesser extent). It hurts as a Twins fan to think that we could have a cost-controlled outfield for the next few years, but that ownership is seemingly unwilling to “make up” for that financial surplus by investing some extra money in starting pitching.

      Yes, we’re hardly into the offseason, and I hope that I’m wrong. But I am a little nervous that Joe Blanton is going to be our prized starting pitching pick-up this winter.
      I agree with the above statement completely. It makes so much sense. Also, there is too much worrry on this site about how the Pohlads spend their money. Their obligation is to put a competitive team on the field, especially after the new ballpark was built. Bottom line: If you want to be competitive, and your minor leagues can't produce the necessary talent(at certain positions) then you must pay market price. Not a guarantee--but, it is the most sensible way to get back into contention.
    1. Linus's Avatar
      Linus -
      Quote Originally Posted by Jim H View Post
      A good example is the Tigers. Fister from the Mariners, Sanchez from the Marlins and Sherzer in the Granderson trade. However they traded a lot of prospects and for the most part those prospects like most prospects haven't done much
      What I find interesting is that 3 weeks before the end of the regular season, Detriot didn't look like a particularly good example of anything. They looked like a high priced, poorly constructed, under achieving, deeply flawed team about to finish 2nd to a much less talented team. Thanks to a collapse by the White Sox, and a nice post season run, they are now a team to emulate?

      Give Detriot credit for spending money and having things work out for them, at least in 2012. Whether things will continue to work for them remains to be seen. They could very easily find themselves saddled with injured/unproductive players with unmovable, huge, long term contracts. Sort of like what some people say about the Twins and Mauer.



      As far as the Twins go, they have gotten into a position where they will have to acquire starting pitching, and much of it will likely come through free agency. That is risky and if you end up handing out large multi year contracts, has a good chance of both not working out due injury or underperformance and making future moves difficult.
      There seems to be a lot of love for the Tigers here. If the Sox wouldn't have spit the bit in September they wouldn't have even made the playoffs. Lets acknowledge a whole bunch of this is a crapshoot.
    1. LaBombo's Avatar
      LaBombo -
      Quote Originally Posted by Linus View Post
      There seems to be a lot of love for the Tigers here. If the Sox wouldn't have spit the bit in September they wouldn't have even made the playoffs. Lets acknowledge a whole bunch of this is a crapshoot.
      Let's hope that the Twins can find some of that random division-winning good luck that's totally unrelated to having a half-dozen All Star-caliber players on the roster.
    1. Riverbrian's Avatar
      Riverbrian -
      Of course money matters. The option to spend and acquire Pujols matters... Of course it does. But what do you do when Pujols can't deliver a title by himself? Cuz he can't.

      The Twins problem going into 2013 has nothing to do with payroll. Another 4 million spent and the Twins are top Ten in payroll. I aint gonna complain about that. The talk on this thread leaves the impression that we are the Padres or A's.

      We made some bad decisions and we are going thru a bad harvest on the farm as a result. Real life farmers struggle when harvest sucks. No different for the Twins.
    1. Fire Dan Gladden's Avatar
      Fire Dan Gladden -
      Wow. A wide variety of responses and posts so far. Let me add to the mix.

      1) It has been and always will be about the money for the Pohlads. They have never said otherwise. They treat the Twins like a business, worried more about fiscal returns than winning. Payroll is not the issue, as if they spend more money correctly, they will win more and bring in more money. I believe TR in this regard that he has the ability to go "over budget" with the right sign, but those rarely come along. A large, long term contract that blows up could destroy the Twins for years and years to come.

      2) People forget that during the Johan years, the Twins were more or less a one-horse show. I think it was 2006 (could be wrong) where in games Johan started the Twins were 25 games over .500, and 1 game over with everybody else. It doesn't necessarily take a rock-star laden team to win, just a good team with some luck.

      3) Spending big money on FA starters doesn't work very often. Occasionally true aces hit the market (Halladay), but that doesn't happen very often. True aces typically stay with their team until they are no longer an ace, or are traded to a team to be signed to a big contract (see Johan Santana). Considering the Twins track record, I don't expect a sign or trade.

      4) True "rebuilding" is more risky then spending big money on FA. Ask the Pirates (who have essentially been rebuilding since Barry Bonds left) and the Royals (1985 anyone?). It took the Twins 10 years to get out of their last rebuilding mode, and it took a couple of large lucky breaks for that to happen. Everybody clamoring for the "blow up the ship" approach needs to understand the failure rate of prospects.

      5) Question:
      At what point does it become "enough" money or "not enough" money to spend on payroll?
      I suppose one answer would be:
      It is enough money if they win the World Series. It is not enough if they don't.

      I don't believe spending more money will necessarily make a difference for this team. I also believe it is too early in the offseason to complain about what they have or have not done yet. We should have a better idea next February. We should probably cool our jets until then.
    1. Brandon's Avatar
      Brandon -
      States need to insert clauses that payroll needs to be a certain figure when they fund ballparks or the difference goes to them to pay the taxpayers back for duping them.

      Those of you in minnesota should lobby for an anti duping legislation. There are enough liberals up there to do it.
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