Knock. Knock. Silence.
Image courtesy of © Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY SportsI understand this is not terribly convenient, which brings us back to Opportunity. You may feel like it’s too early. You may not trust Sano’s health. You may not trust Rosario’s plate discipline. You may not trust Buxton’s batting average. You may want to focus on a lot of other issues, like how to fix the pitching staff or who is going to fill the spots on the coaching staff. I mean, do we really need to decide this right now?
Opportunity recognizes this is hard. She also does not care. She must leave after this offseason and here is why.
All three of these players have over two years and under three years of major league service time. Which means this is the last year they’ll be making between $550,000 and $600,000. That’s a lot of money, but it isn’t “lifetime security” money. So if something happens – a concussion, a blown-up knee or suddenly they just can’t hit – they are left to their own devices for the rest of their careers.
If the Twins want to wait until next year, the players and their agents might still be willing to listen, but at this time next year they’ll each be in line for a guaranteed salary of $3M-$5M. That is at least close to “lifetime security” money. And they get it whether they negotiate a long-term deal or not. So if you want to lock them up – either because you want to save money or because you want to guarantee they stick around for some free agent years – now is the best time.
At a high level, that means making a sizable commitment. Each deal will likely require five guaranteed years and at least $28M, something like $1M/$3M/$5.5M/$8M/$10.5M. That’s the starting point. In this year’s TwinsCentric Offseason Handbook (it’s coming SOON), we’ll give you a chance to craft a more precise and fair offer for each of them, and also give you a handful of comparable recent deals to help you out. In the meantime, here are some questions to ask yourself and debate in the comments below, provided you have registered:
- Are you comfortable signing each player to a long-term deal?
- Which players are your priority if you can only sign one or two?
- How many years of team options do you want after the guaranteed money? It might be easier to tack three years onto the end for Buxton (who would still only be 31 years old when he finishes the deal) than Rosario (who would be 33 years old, and might want to hit the free agency a little sooner).
- Cory Engelhardt, Oldgoat_MN, ToddlerHarmon and 1 other like this