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  • 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. birdwatcher's Avatar
      birdwatcher -
      Quote Originally Posted by mike wants wins View Post
      I'm good with your other posts, but this one sounds like an appeal to authority, basically saying don't bother commenting here. but maybe I am reading that wrong.
      Not an appeal to authority at all, but an appeal to expertise. If I decided to critique owners, coaches or players on here, I'd expect to be asked to back up my claims. I'd expect to get some pushback. You know yourself, mike, that you are usually negatively critical, and that's great. Sometimes you're right. In my view, you're often wrong or over the top in how harsh you are with the criticism. It's healthy when criticism, positive or negative, is the subject of some friendly debate. Our first debates, I recall, were about two years ago when I commented on the positive critiques on what was happening in the farm system and pushed you about your views, which were extremely negative. I guess I reply to your posts more often than others because, to be honest, I simply disagree with your take so often. No offense intended whatsoever.
    1. birdwatcher's Avatar
      birdwatcher -
      [QUOTE=twinsnorth49;192304]Just because someone is not employed by a major league baseball team, does not mean they don't know what they are talking about. There are plenty of knowledgeable, thoughtful and intelligent posters here. I think a lot of them know a great deal of what they are talking about.

      Of course there are many intelligent, thoughtful, and knowledgable posters on here! Why else would we bother to come here? I respect mike wants wins, for example, because we share those attributes. But don't confuse things. Don't confuse decisions, for example, from knowledge.

      What I will say is this: if you, me, or anyone else here thinks we have a better read on whether a player like Sano or Buxton are MLB ready than the dozens of evaluators employed by the Twins, we are utter fools. Rightfully questioning is not what I reacted to.
    1. mike wants wins's Avatar
      mike wants wins -
      I do agree with the birdwatcher, we have waaaaaaaaaaaaaay less information, and experience, than the professionals. I think I just misunderstood his/her post.

      One reasons I wanted to go to the event on saturday was to meet people in person, so they (and I) would be able get a better feel for each other as people, not as posters.....since I think context is very important to relationships....
    1. birdwatcher's Avatar
      birdwatcher -
      I'll be at the Diamond Awards tonight with all my besties like Jimmy P.
    1. johnnydakota's Avatar
      johnnydakota -
      So if we had shelled out 13 million a year more could we have had Garza?
    1. birdwatcher's Avatar
      birdwatcher -
      Quote Originally Posted by johnnydakota View Post
      So if we had shelled out 13 million a year more could we have had Garza?
      Who's your nsource, johnny?
    1. johnnydakota's Avatar
      johnnydakota -
      Quote Originally Posted by birdwatcher View Post
      Who's your nsource, johnny?
      Well its what the brewers paid...why not us?even if we front loaded it .
      say 25 million in 2014 and 9 million per, for the last 3years

      as for my source is none , but if the Brewers could sign him , why cant we?
    1. Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
      Brock Beauchamp -
      Quote Originally Posted by johnnydakota View Post
      Well its what the brewers paid...why not us?even if we front loaded it .
      say 25 million in 2014 and 9 million per, for the last 3years

      as for my source is none , but if the Brewers could sign him , why cant we?
      While I believe that most players follow dollars and years, assuming that a single player will go anywhere based solely on money is a mistake. For all we know, Matt Garza has a Ron Gardenhire dartboard. He might not like the fact that the 35 has both a W and E version. Last time he went to Matt's Bar, there may have been a hair in his burger. He might think Minnie and Paul's handshaking relationship is a little too effeminate for his conservative viewpoint.

      In short, we just don't know. A player's decision could literally be based on anything.
    1. twinsnorth49's Avatar
      twinsnorth49 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Brock Beauchamp View Post
      Last time he went to Matt's Bar, there may have been a hair in his burger.
      Hold on, I thought that was the secret ingredient?
    1. rico7961's Avatar
      rico7961 -
      The only "snapshot of the Twins payroll" that matters is the Pohlads have been bank-rolling millions and millions of $$$ since the Hennepin County Taxpayer funded a stadium for them. I "really liked" the complaint of "we need a new Stadium so we can spend money on the team". The Pohlads have been and will continue "laughing all the way to the bank" since the taxpayer built them a stadium. The Pohlads are shrewd businessmen, do you think they are going to spend money on a baseball team, when the income streams have already been established?
    1. johnnydakota's Avatar
      johnnydakota -
      Quote Originally Posted by Brock Beauchamp View Post
      While I believe that most players follow dollars and years, assuming that a single player will go anywhere based solely on money is a mistake. For all we know, Matt Garza has a Ron Gardenhire dartboard. He might not like the fact that the 35 has both a W and E version. Last time he went to Matt's Bar, there may have been a hair in his burger. He might think Minnie and Paul's handshaking relationship is a little too effeminate for his conservative viewpoint.

      In short, we just don't know. A player's decision could literally be based on anything.
      Yes and his early off season remarks about being more then willing to return to Minnesota , could simply have been a ruese to build more bidding , but I will take the player at his word, and believe that if the Twins were competitive or had given him a better deal , he would of happily returned to the Twins
    1. Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
      Brock Beauchamp -
      Quote Originally Posted by johnnydakota View Post
      Yes and his early off season remarks about being more then willing to return to Minnesota , could simply have been a ruese to build more bidding , but I will take the player at his word, and believe that if the Twins were competitive or had given him a better deal , he would of happily returned to the Twins
      And that's possible. My point is that complaining about not acquiring players individually ignores that we just don't know what goes on behind closed doors. That's why I tend to look at offseasons as a big picture. I didn't care if the Twins picked up Nolasco, Hughes, Garza, Jimenez, or Santana. I don't know which ones were willing to come to Minnesota for what price. The Twins needed better pitchers and Ryan acquired two decent arms. I'm cool with that.

      The same thinking applied to last offseason and Ryan failed to acquire good pitching. I didn't care who he got but they needed to be better than Pelfrey (Corriea actually turned out okay). Either way, Ryan failed to meet expectations last offseason and succeeded this offseason. The names don't matter that much to me. Sure, I prefer some players over others but since I'm not there for negotiations, I won't howl if things don't go exactly how I like.
    1. Thrylos's Avatar
      Thrylos -
      Quote Originally Posted by rico7961 View Post
      the Hennepin County Taxpayer funded a stadium for them.
      This is so darn inaccurate and I hear it all the time and I don't know if it is confusion or something else.

      Here is how Target Field was funded: 1/3 was paid by the Twins and 2/3 are paid by bonds financed by a 0.15% increase in the sales tax at Hennepin county. People's local & property taxes did not increase. People buying taxable stuff (ie not clothes and food and necessities) in Hennepin county, including Twins' tickets and concessions are paying more, regardless whether they live in Minneapolis, St Paul, Duluth, or Timbuktu. And since most of the shopping centers are out of Hennepin county, most of the Hennepin country residents are not affected. The ones who pay more of the bill are the out of towners who have to use hotels and restaurants etc.
    1. twinsnorth49's Avatar
      twinsnorth49 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Thrylos View Post
      This is so darn inaccurate and I hear it all the time and I don't know if it is confusion or something else.

      Here is how Target Field was funded: 1/3 was paid by the Twins and 2/3 are paid by bonds financed by a 0.15% increase in the sales tax at Hennepin county. People's local & property taxes did not increase. People buying taxable stuff (ie not clothes and food and necessities) in Hennepin county, including Twins' tickets and concessions are paying more, regardless whether they live in Minneapolis, St Paul, Duluth, or Timbuktu. And since most of the shopping centers are out of Hennepin county, most of the Hennepin country residents are not affected. The ones who pay more of the bill are the out of towners who have to use hotels and restaurants etc.
      I'm outraged......
    1. mike wants wins's Avatar
      mike wants wins -
      Quote Originally Posted by Thrylos View Post
      This is so darn inaccurate and I hear it all the time and I don't know if it is confusion or something else.

      Here is how Target Field was funded: 1/3 was paid by the Twins and 2/3 are paid by bonds financed by a 0.15% increase in the sales tax at Hennepin county. People's local & property taxes did not increase. People buying taxable stuff (ie not clothes and food and necessities) in Hennepin county, including Twins' tickets and concessions are paying more, regardless whether they live in Minneapolis, St Paul, Duluth, or Timbuktu. And since most of the shopping centers are out of Hennepin county, most of the Hennepin country residents are not affected. The ones who pay more of the bill are the out of towners who have to use hotels and restaurants etc.

      That simply is not true, according to economic studies. MOST of the taxes are paid by county residents. The Twins and legislators want you to believe otherwise, but it simply is not true.
    1. crarko's Avatar
      crarko -
      Quote Originally Posted by mike wants wins View Post
      That simply is not true, according to economic studies. MOST of the taxes are paid by county residents. The Twins and legislators want you to believe otherwise, but it simply is not true.
      I live across the river in walking distance to the hole in the ground formerly known as the Metrodome. My property taxes have decreased steadily over the past five years or so. Go figure.
    1. Thrylos's Avatar
      Thrylos -
      Quote Originally Posted by mike wants wins View Post
      That simply is not true, according to economic studies. MOST of the taxes are paid by county residents. The Twins and legislators want you to believe otherwise, but it simply is not true.
      Reference, please. Like they are asking for zip codes when they are ringing sales?

      Not to be confused with public stadium financing through bonds backed by real estate tax raised funds, like other cases. Target Field is not financed that way...
    1. crarko's Avatar
      crarko -
      There's also this : http://www.theinterchange.net
    1. USAFChief's Avatar
      USAFChief -
      Quote Originally Posted by Brock Beauchamp View Post
      What happens if you run out of bullets? What happens if the Twins need a left fielder and shortstop in 2015 but only have $14m to spend? You're not going to fill all those holes, particularly if the holes are unexpected (say, if Arcia gets injured or falls on his face in 2014).

      They might run out of bullets, that's a legitimate concern.

      Conversely, saving your bullets doesn't guarantee there'll be anything to shoot at later. Needing a shortstop and left fielder in 2015 doesn't mean they will be there to sign. You might have saved your money for nothing, and end up without a SS and left fielder in both years.

      Both approaches have risks.
    1. cmathewson's Avatar
      cmathewson -
      Quote Originally Posted by mike wants wins View Post
      That simply is not true, according to economic studies. MOST of the taxes are paid by county residents. The Twins and legislators want you to believe otherwise, but it simply is not true.
      It is a simple majority of the remaining 2/3, because Hennepin County is the most populous county in the state and has the four largest mall in the state, the largest mall in the world, the largest airport in the five-state region, three sports teams, and more bars and restaurants than any other county in the state.

      But a lot of people who spend money in that county are not from that county. Many are not from the state or even the country. So it is at least an exaggeration to say Hennepin County tax payers paid for the stadium. When you factor in the Twins contribution, it isn't even half of the total.
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