Minnesota Twins News & Rumors Forum
  • A Snapshot of Twins Payroll

    After reaching agreement on one-year deals with their three arbitration-eligible players late last week, the Twins now have a clearer idea of where their spending commitments for the coming season currently stand.

    As Jeremy Nygaard's invaluable Roster & Payroll page shows, the club's estimated 2014 payroll now sits at $83.4 million with the updated arbitration figures factored in.

    To some, that number may feel unsatisfactory, given that it's not a sizable increase from last year's mark and isn't likely to rise much. But it's a step in the right direction, and right now that's important.

    What was bothersome about the approach last offseason, from my perspective, was not the final payroll figure, which settled around $75 million -- but that it was a decrease of nearly $40 million from two years prior.

    In that case, the lack of spending hinted at a lack of belief in the product. And while you can argue that was well warranted based on the outcome of the season, it still stung to see the team address a blatantly horrendous rotation by signing two of the cheapest free agents and adding a mid-rotation NL starter through trade.

    Even though they were shedding big chunks of payroll and still enjoying the fresh revenue streams of Target Field, the Twins weren't making significant investments in improving the roster. That cannot be said this time around.

    The Ricky Nolasco and Phil Hughes contracts were definitively aggressive moves. They rank as the two largest free agent contracts in franchise history and they remain two of the most lucrative handed out in baseball this offseason, with the high-end pitching market dragging along.

    Add in the Pelfrey deal, and you've got three contracts signed this winter that are larger than any from last offseason. While that hasn't resulted in a major payroll spike overall, it reverses a three-year trend of declining spending, and most importantly the club maintains considerable flexibility going forward despite entering several multi-year pacts.

    I know there are some people who are disappointed to see the Twins' payroll still sitting below $85 million despite an infusion of new revenues entering the mix this year, but they've already spent significantly on overhauling the rotation. And while the lineup currently looks far from stellar on paper, I can see the logic in holding off on signing more players to supplement that unit; simply put, almost every position on the field is either occupied by a promising young talent or will be soon enough. Spending big money on stopgaps might make sense for a contender, but not for a team coming off a third straight 90-loss campaign.

    And because they're still at least $20 million below what should be considered their true spending cap, the Twins will have the ability to add salary -- either through in-season trades or offseason acquisitions -- pretty much at will to supplement their emerging core.

    That is a very favorable position, and one that all fans should be celebrating rather than lamenting.
    This article was originally published in blog: A Snapshot of Twins Payroll started by Nick Nelson
    Comments 138 Comments
    1. big dog's Avatar
      big dog -
      Quote Originally Posted by brvama View Post
      So, maybe, we should turn our attention to something like: who will be the first player injured in spring training. Something we can't prove until it happens also.
      Dibs on Mastroianni!!
    1. johnnydakota's Avatar
      johnnydakota -
      Quote Originally Posted by big dog View Post
      Dibs on Mastroianni!!
      Does Samuel DeDuno count? if so I will pick him , as I believe he will start the season on the 60 day DL
    1. Dantes929's Avatar
      Dantes929 -
      Quote Originally Posted by USAFChief View Post
      And "build from within" has never worked, in the history of Major League Baseball.

      It hasnt even been tried. Find me an example of a team that has been built entirely from within, much less done so and won.

      Teams have always supplemented their minor league talent on other ways.

      There is room to both wait for the minor leagues to provide the Twins with some of the talent needed to win a World Series and go get some of that talent in other ways.
      How would you define how teams were built before free agency? Making trades with major and minor league assets still falls under my definition of building from within. We got Alex Meyer for Denard Span. That is still within my definition. If it has never been tried then where is the proof that it could not work? I promise you that if every team was stuck with only the players they developed themselves someone would still win every year and there would be some extremely good teams. Rays and Giants have been mostly built from within and the players they have let go have been just as good as the players they have acquired so whose to say it couldn't work.
    1. Don't Feed the Greed Guy's Avatar
      Don't Feed the Greed Guy -
      Quote Originally Posted by Thrylos View Post
      Jack Morris, Chili Davis, Brian Harper, Carl Willis and Mike Pagliarulo beg to differ
      Ask them about the nucleus of players that came up through the Twins system and had already tasted success in 1987: Kent Hrbek, Greg Gagne, Kirby Puckett, Gene Larkin, and Randy Bush would beg to differ. Also, Alan Anderson, and players who came up just in time for 1991--such as Scott Erickson and Chuck Knoblauch.

      Is there a comparison between the 1990 Twins roster and the 2013 version? No comparison.
    1. mike wants wins's Avatar
      mike wants wins -
      Quote Originally Posted by Don't Feed the Greed Guy View Post
      Ask them about the nucleus of players that came up through the Twins system and had already tasted success in 1987: Kent Hrbek, Greg Gagne, Kirby Puckett, Gene Larkin, and Randy Bush would beg to differ. Also, Alan Anderson, and players who came up just in time for 1991--such as Scott Erickson and Chuck Knoblauch.

      Is there a comparison between the 1990 Twins roster and the 2013 version? No comparison.
      There would be if TR would promote Sano and Buxton like McPhail promoted Hrbek and Puckett and others.....
    1. mike wants wins's Avatar
      mike wants wins -
      Quote Originally Posted by birdwatcher View Post
      Let's turn the tables: why do you think the Twins organization should not care about money at all? Or about second round draft choices? And why do you think their judgment about whether Drews is a good acquisition is inferior to your own judgment, which comes so easily in part because you have nothing on the line financially or otherwise?
      The Twins should care, but that's not what people are posting.....they are saying they don't think it is worth the money. The Twins can do whatever the heck they want, but why does a fan care if they make huge money, or even huger money?

      It wasn't "why do the Twins care", it was "why do YOU care" about if a contract is "worth it". Totally different questions.
    1. ChiTownTwinsFan's Avatar
      ChiTownTwinsFan -
      Quote Originally Posted by mike wants wins View Post
      There would be if TR would promote Sano and Buxton like McPhail promoted Hrbek and Puckett and others.....
      Um ... but weren't Hrbek and Puckett already on the major league team BEFORE MacPhail became GM? Didn't Hrbek come up in ... what ... 81? 82? and Puckett in 84? MacPhail was with the Twins then, but he wasn't GM until 85.

      Correct me if I have this wrong ... I don't have time to double check.
    1. mike wants wins's Avatar
      mike wants wins -
      Ok, insert "Twins GM" there instead. Don't really care who the GM was, whoever it was promoted those guys all up well before they were ready, and gave them time to learn up here.
    1. PopRiveter's Avatar
      PopRiveter -
      Hrbek debuted at age 21, Puckett at age 24.
      Sano and Buxton are each 20. BB just turned 20 last month and has played 173 games of professional baseball. Seems a bit premature to complain that Terry Ryan is promoting too slowly.
    1. mike wants wins's Avatar
      mike wants wins -
      Huh, I was wrong on Puckett, thanks for the correction. For some reason, I thought he was up sooner than that.
    1. Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
      Brock Beauchamp -
      Baseball was a very different game in the early 80s. Outside of monster talent like Trout or Cabrera, guys simply don't make it to MLB before age 21-22 in today's game. Ryan isn't doing anything wrong with Sano and Buxton. He's taking them steadily through the system as they show the org they're ready to move.

      Besides, what's the rush? Every month of "postponement" of seeing Sano/Buxton comes closer to getting an entire extra year of control over them into their mid to late 20s (aka. their peak seasons). Sano is going to see MLB as a 21 year old and Buxton might see MLB as a 20 year old. I think it's a bit odd to grouse about not seeing them in MLB as teenagers.
    1. mike wants wins's Avatar
      mike wants wins -
      The rush is I don't want to watch crappy ball players anymore. The rush is they are both "in AA" and could be up here. I get it. I should just wait for the future. The rush is that WS team was built by getting guys up here, and playing int he majors for a couple of years before peaking. This staff seems to want them to be peak the day they come up. It doesn't usually work that way.

      You know with certainty Sano will be up this coming year? I don't know that.
    1. beckmt's Avatar
      beckmt -
      Drew would not be the answer. He would help, but that decision should wait as much as two years to play out. Florimon could learn to hit well enough, Rosario could hit so well that Dozier is forced back to SS or traded, Santana could be the answer or Polanco, too many variables to invest 4 years in an over 30 player.
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      I don't know if Sano is going to get called up this year. I expect it'll happen for sure in September since he has to be added to the 40 man roster anyway. I suspect he'll go to AA and they'll go from there.

      Buxton also likely starts in AA, and it's the same thing. let's see how it goes.

      I suspect both will be up this year, but that's easy to say when Buxton hasn't had an AB and only a half-season at Hi-A. Sano, we don't know how he'll do this year. They're so young. If they're ready, they'll come up. If not, they won't. That's the way it should be.

      Puckett flew through the system. 224 minor league games!! Incredible. He just was drafted late.

      Puckett was up 2 years aand a month after he was drafted. Brian Dozier was up about 2 years and a couple of months of season after he was drafted.
    1. Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
      Brock Beauchamp -
      Quote Originally Posted by mike wants wins View Post
      The rush is I don't want to watch crappy ball players anymore. The rush is they are both "in AA" and could be up here. I get it. I should just wait for the future. The rush is that WS team was built by getting guys up here, and playing int he majors for a couple of years before peaking. This staff seems to want them to be peak the day they come up. It doesn't usually work that way.
      I have a simply response to this:

      Aaron Hicks. Sure, Buxton/Sano have higher ceilings than Hicks but Aaron was rushed to the majors prematurely and lost an entire season of development due to his awful play. Why are we in a rush to waste both development and service time on a player that probably isn't ready to face MLB pitching? Like I said earlier, Sano is 21 and Buxton is 20. It's not as if we're looking at a Jason Bartlett situation here.

      Quote Originally Posted by mike wants wins View Post
      You know with certainty Sano will be up this coming year? I don't know that.
      Nothing is guaranteed but if he's healthy and posting a .900 OPS in AAA (as he's done at pretty much every level thus far), I don't see how the Twins keep him in the minors.
    1. thetank's Avatar
      thetank -
      Quote Originally Posted by Brock Beauchamp View Post
      Baseball was a very different game in the early 80s. Outside of monster talent like Trout or Cabrera, guys simply don't make it to MLB before age 21-22 in today's game. Ryan isn't doing anything wrong with Sano and Buxton. He's taking them steadily through the system as they show the org they're ready to move.

      Besides, what's the rush? Every month of "postponement" of seeing Sano/Buxton comes closer to getting an entire extra year of control over them into their mid to late 20s (aka. their peak seasons). Sano is going to see MLB as a 21 year old and Buxton might see MLB as a 20 year old. I think it's a bit odd to grouse about not seeing them in MLB as teenagers.
      When they do come up it may take a while before they are quality starters.
    1. mike wants wins's Avatar
      mike wants wins -
      btw, I'm not saying this particual desire of mine is rational......I really am tired of watching a 95 loss team with no real future players on it (or few). I'm ready to watch a 95 loss team with future superstars on it. I get that not everyone feels the same way.
    1. Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
      Brock Beauchamp -
      Quote Originally Posted by thetank View Post
      When they do come up it may take a while before they are quality starters.
      And they're more likely to be productive starters if they're ready to face MLB pitching when they arrive in Minnesota. Nothing good will come of seeing them flounder for a year in Minnesota and waste a year of precious service time.

      Hell, they may flounder in Minnesota anyway... But if you give them time to sort out their issues in the minors, at least you're comfortable knowing that you did all you could to help them succeed in MLB.
    1. Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
      Brock Beauchamp -
      Quote Originally Posted by mike wants wins View Post
      btw, I'm not saying this particual desire of mine is rational......I really am tired of watching a 95 loss team with no real future players on it (or few). I'm ready to watch a 95 loss team with future superstars on it. I get that not everyone feels the same way.
      I'm ready to see a better baseball team last week but not at the expense of losing a year of service time on a couple of potential superstars that aren't ready to face MLB pitching.

      They'll be here in time. Sure, I wish that time was right now but that's not realistic.
    1. mike wants wins's Avatar
      mike wants wins -
      Ah, so my Puckett memory was not completely off, thanks Seth. Thought I was losing my mind.

      What is "ready", though, that's the question. Ready to be awesome, or ready to come up and be ok/good, and learn here?
©2014 TwinsCentric, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
Interested in advertising with Twins Daily? Click here.