I know this isn't exactly original thinking, but is it possible that the payroll flexibility that they say is still there, really isn't there? That ~$80 million is the new payroll ceiling and they don't want to make that known?
I guess I'm just curious what "flexibility" really means in terms of actual dollars.
Direct relationship between possible risk and possible reward which holds for a particular situation. To realize greater reward one must generally accept a greater risk, and vice/versa. Also known as risk/return trade-off.
What's the risk to the Twins in this situation? They lose a pitcher to injury (even though he's not officially injured and pitched through the end of last season effectively) and be no further behind than they are now except 4 million or so dollars they said they would spend anyway but haven't.
Reward, they immediately get a legitimate MLB pitcher and show their fanbase that they are serious about putting a quality product on the field and value their support.
The Twins comfort level in this situation should be high, the reward far outweighs the risk and has virtually no quantifiable effect on any further investment strategy going forward. It's a pretty simple equation.
Both Marcum and Pelfrey signed for 4M ish... Both have injury risks, and one a much higher upside than the other. Perhaps Marcum wasn't in the mood for 4M when the Pelfrey signing was in the works... I don't know, but it seems to me that if I had to choose my injury risk, I'd take Marcum over Pelfrey any day of the week, and I'd likely take Marcum and Pelfrey over Pelfrey and Correia as well. I get that TR cannot go out and sign every pitcher (as eventually, they realize there won't be playing time), bit I have to admit that this one is odd.
All in all... I can't explain Marcum at 4 Million... I really wanted the guy.
This is the problem with the whole discussion. We don't know the behind the scene talks that may have happened. If TR calls Marcum's agent and says "we have $5M for you right now, take it or leave it, but if you leave it we're going another direction" and his agent comes back with wanting $8m then is it TR's fault that the deal didn't happen?
For all we know they could have offered $4m or even more to Marcum a while back and he turned it down thinking he could get more and then the Twins just said forget it because the price is too high and went with Pelfrey. Eitherway, I still think that they have the money for both guys if they wanted them unless TR was given some absurdly low budget to work with.