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Game Thread: Twins vs KC 4:40 PM PST (6:40 PM CDT) 9/19/19

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 07:18 PM
The Twins took two steps forward toward the goal of winning the division during the series of games against the Sox. Unfortunately, after...
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Front Page: Should Eddie Rosario Be Benched for Not Hustl...

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 07:14 PM
Eddie Rosario is one of five Twins hitters to hit 30 home runs or more this season to help the team set a new standard at the big-league...
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Acuna Matata: Braves Give Ronald Acuna $100 Million

Other Baseball Today, 05:21 PM
Reports this morning are indicating that the Atlanta Braves and Ronald Acuna have agreed to an 8 year deal guaranteeing him $100 million....
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Front Page: Arizona Fall League Preview: Royce Lewis Head...

Twins Minor League Talk Today, 05:12 PM
As of your reading of this article, the Arizona Fall League season has gotten underway for the 2019 season. If you’re thinking that seems...
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Front Page: Mission Accomplished: An Elite Twins Bullpen

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 05:12 PM
As the month of July came to an end, Minnesota Twins fans watched with anticipation hoping that their club was going to make the necessar...
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Mailbag: Stewart's Spot, Win Total, Trading for Starters

Even if the temperatures outside don’t agree, baseball is in the air. TwinsFest is this weekend and the annual Twins Caravans have been matriculating throughout Twins Territory in recent weeks. Twins pitchers and catchers report to Fort Myers on Wednesday, February 13 and position players follow on Monday, February 18.

This week’s mailbag includes a look at Kohl Stewart’s chances to be in the rotation, trying to predict Minnesota’s win total, some potential trade targets, and a dive into the team’s payroll. Let’s open this week’s mail, shall we?
Image courtesy of Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

When it comes to Kohl Stewart, there are no guarantees he will make the club out of spring training. There are certainly some locks when it comes to the starting rotation. Jose Berrios, Kyle Gibson, and Jake Odorizzi are all but guaranteed a starting spot. Michael Pineda should be fully recovered from Tommy John surgery and this allows him to slide into the back half of the rotation.

This leaves the fifth rotation spot in question. Adalberto Mejia was off to a strong start last season before he was sidelined with a nerve issue. Other players in consideration for the final starting spot would be Stephen Gonsalves, Chase De Jong, Zack Littell, and recently signed Martin Perez. My guess is Stewart starts the season at Triple-A but he will get some time at the big league level throughout the 2019 campaign.


Predicting win totals can be quite the exercise in futility, especially over the course of a 162-game MLB season. FanGraphs currently has the Twins pegged to finish the season at 82-80. This would place them in seventh place in the American League and second place in the AL Central. At this point in the off-season, I feel like this is a pretty accurate prediction. If everything breaks right, the Twins could pick up a few other wins throughout the year, especially if Byron Buxton and Miguel Sano take the next step. Minnesota should win 80+ games but do they have enough to catch Cleveland? That still remains to be seen.


Minnesota’s payroll has been a hot button issue over the last week or so. The Pohlads run the Twins like a business so they typically spend 50% of their revenues on the payroll. According to Forbes, Minnesota ranks 22nd in MLB team valuations. The club made $261 million in revenue last year and spent $133 million on player expenses. Currently, the Twins are projected to start next season with a payroll around $100 million.

There are a couple schools of thought when it comes to the Twins and their finances. Those that feel that the Twins are spending roughly what they should based on their market size and revenues. Others feel the Twins are spending money very similarly to how they did during the end of the Metrodome era.

A source in the Twins front office told Phil Mackey, “We need to get the nucleus right first. Teams that hit the gas too early wind up mistiming their window. We’ll pounce when the time is right.” Later, he brought up the fact that the Twins market size (19th) and TV revenue rank (20th) also play a factor in their ability to spend.

Aaron Gleeman has been vocal about his frustration with the team’s payroll. When the Twins moved into Target Field, there was a three-year spike in the team’s spending in comparison to the MLB average. After 2012, the club’s relative spending is back to the same level as during the Metrodome years.

Should the Twins payroll be higher for 2019? Yes, but it’s important to make smart financial investments and those players might not currently be available.


Next year’s potential free agent class includes numerous starting pitchers making some significant money in 2018. Some of the players include Madison Bumgarner, Gerrit Cole, Cole Hamels, Felix Hernandez, CC Sabathia, Chris Sale and Justin Verlander. Many of these players are projected to be on winning clubs this year so their current clubs are likely to hang on to them through the 2019 season.

Madison Bumgarner and Felix Hernandez might be the most likely trade candidates on this list. Bumgarner had pitched 200 innings or more in six straight seasons before injuries limited him to less than 130 in each of the last two seasons. Hernandez has run into his own struggles in recent years. After posting a career ERA of 3.16 through 2016, he was limited to 86.2 innings in 2017 (4.36 ERA) and his ERA jumped to 5.55 last year.

Make sure to follow me on Twitter so you can participate in next week’s mailbag segment. Now it’s your turn. What do you think about this week’s questions? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.

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22 Comments

 

 

My guess is Stewart starts the season at Triple-A but he will get some time at the big league level throughout the 2019 campaign.

Does he still have option years available or would he have to clear waivers? 

 

"The club made $261 million in revenue last year and spent $133 million on player expenses. Currently, the Twins are projected to start next season with a payroll around $100 million."

 

I keep seeing this kind of thing stated and it's based off of Forbes Magazine's team valuations. However, what people seem to forget to do is read the footnotes. Specifically...

 

"Revenue and operating income are for 2017 season and net of revenue sharing and stadium debt service."

 

So, if I'm reading that right, they did not spend $133 million on payroll on $261 million of revenue (50.9%) "last year."

 

They had an opening day payroll of $108 million in 2017 and reportedly bumped that up to something around $120 million by season's end, or roughly 45.9% of revenues. And those are revenues net of revenue sharing and stadium debt service (I have no idea how those would apply to the Twins, but the point is that the revenue figures are not gross revenues).

 

Over the 10 years prior to and including 2017, revenues steadily rose from $158 million in 2008 (reported in the Forbes 2009 report) to the $261 million level for 2017 (as reported in the 2018 report).

 

If we assume that revenues increase for 2018 and 2019 continue at the same roughly $10 million per year, it would mean revenues for 2018 would be an estimated $271 million and 2019 would project to something in the low-to-mid $280s.

 

Given that revenues being distributed from various central MLB sources have been going up in recent years, that may be a very conservative estimate.

 

Regardless, it would mean a $100 million payroll would project to be around 35% of revenues and would need to get up to $140 million (by season end) to reach the 50% level.

 

Point is, we should stop using payroll figures from a season one year more recent than the year for which revenues have been reported.

    • diehardtwinsfan, jokin, TheLeviathan and 3 others like this

 

 

Stewart has 3 options years, so unless they're DFA'ing him for some reason, the Twins shouldn't be losing control of him anytime soon.

In 2018 all teams got an extra 50 million from sale of bamtech.
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MMMordabito
Jan 22 2019 08:52 AM

The Twin acquired Odorizzi, Lynn and Morrison after mid-February last year, so I'm not sure we can look at the current $100 million number as anything more than a current number.

 

The Perez deal may make it seem like starting pitching isn't in the works for further moves, but we don't know the full structure of that deal yet.If someone has info on that, please post.They haven't announced the DFA candidate yet, so it doesn't seem finalized.  

 

I view Perez as being somewhere on the "if-Pineda-doesn't-come-back-well" depth chart, being given a chance to win that fifth spot and otherwise working as long man or second lefty in bull-pen. 

 

Is anyone penciling anyone other than Gibson, Berrios and Odorizzi in for 30 starts? I'm not.I doubt Falvine is.They're still shopping, IMO.

 

I'm quietly still hoping that Marwin Gonzalez stays available deep into the off-season.Perhaps he could be the Morrison/anti-Morrison signing that we didn't expect.It would be great to have him on the team and then tell guys like Sano, Buxton, Kepler and even Polanco (on the defensive side) "give me a reason to start Marwin somewhere other than the spot that your supposed to occupy as a starter."

    • Steve Lein, cmoss84, bighat and 3 others like this

I find it hard to imagine the Twins winning 80-82 games this year with the present starting pitching staff of Berrios, Gibson, Odorizzi, Pineda, Perez, etc. The Twins need pitchers to pitch 210+ innings in 32-33 games to take the burden off the RP’s. Berrios, Gibson, & Odorizzi were healthy in 2018 and still didn’t get 200 innings in the books. Berrios & Gibson have a chance to pitch 200+ innings this year if they continue to improve. Asking any of the others to pitch those innings is a real stretch. Let’s hope the FO goes out and gets a #1 or a #2 SP so RP’s have a chance to not be abused by the All Star break.

 

The Twins need pitchers to pitch 210+ innings in 32-33 games to take the burden off the RP’s. Berrios, Gibson, & Odorizzi were healthy in 2018 and still didn’t get 200 innings in the books. 

 

Only 5 pitchers in all of MLB hit 210 IP last year. Gibson and Berrios were both north of 190. This team has problems but I don't see their workload as one of them.

    • ashbury, birdwatcher, Mike Sixel and 12 others like this
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MMMordabito
Jan 22 2019 10:57 AM

 

Only 5 pitchers in all of MLB hit 210 IP last year. Gibson and Berrios were both north of 190. This team has problems but I don't see their workload as one of them.

 

And for what it's worth ... Boston only had one north of 190 IP

    • howieramone2 and Drew like this
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sweetmusicviola16
Jan 22 2019 02:01 PM

I don't see Kohl making the team. He comes up if we have a couple of injuries or if someone else performs very badly.

 

I'm liking this Perez signing less and less. We've got a half dozen guys that need evaluating and a chance and all of a sudden a bad Perez moves to the head of the class. The best chance the young guys may get is if we do use a couple of the rotation spots as stackers.

 

Odorizzi stacked with Gonsalves

Mejia stacked with Stewart

    • jud6312 likes this
Again if the Twins spend 50% of new revenue above and beyond then tell me what the other 50% is silent on. Operating costs stay pretty stable with cost of living increases. There might be s slight uptick in draft monies but money sient on the limits stays stable. You mighg make a new beer garden but that should pay fir itself. Again spending $130 million on $260 million different then doebding $100 million on $200 million...you have $30 million being soent on what? Stadium beds reduction?
    • Mike Sixel likes this

Again if the Twins spend 50% of new revenue above and beyond then tell me what the other 50% is silent on. Operating costs stay pretty stable with cost of living increases. There might be s slight uptick in draft monies but money sient on the limits stays stable. You mighg make a new beer garden but that should pay fir itself. Again spending $130 million on $260 million different then doebding $100 million on $200 million...you have $30 million being soent on what? Stadium beds reduction?


The goal of any business, from a Fortune 500, down to a mom and pop hardware store, is to increase profits year over year.
So, I'd guess the other 50% of increased revenues isn't spent- it's increased profit.
I'm fine with that. This is America, it's a business, not a charity.
It'd be nice if they actually spent the 50% they purport to though.
    • Dantes929 and Oldgoat_MN like this

Would someone clue me in on Romero?I thought he was the next Berrios?He was 3-3 last year with a 4.69era and 45K's in 55 innings and 1.42whip.Why is he not in the running? He's 24 and seen AAA.

    • Oldgoat_MN and Dr. Evil like this

Would someone clue me in on Romero?I thought he was the next Berrios?He was 3-3 last year with a 4.69era and 45K's in 55 innings and 1.42whip.Why is he not in the running? He's 24 and seen AAA.

I feel he should be placed in the number 5 spot.
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howieramone2
Jan 22 2019 06:01 PM

 

Would someone clue me in on Romero?I thought he was the next Berrios?He was 3-3 last year with a 4.69era and 45K's in 55 innings and 1.42whip.Why is he not in the running? He's 24 and seen AAA.

He only has 2 pitches. Velocity difference between his fastball and change is only 5 mph. My take is rather than spend more time in Rochester, he starts in the pen this year and moves to the rotation in the future. I'm guessing they can refine his change in bullpen sessions. We need our best 12 arms at Target Field on day 1.

    • DocBauer and Drew like this
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sweetmusicviola16
Jan 22 2019 06:10 PM

 

He only has 2 pitches. Velocity difference between his fastball and change is only 5 mph. My take is rather than spend more time in Rochester, he starts in the pen this year and moves to the rotation in the future. I'm guessing they can refine his change in bullpen sessions. We need our best 12 arms at Target Field on day 1.

Not another Tyler Duffey I hope?

 

Not another Tyler Duffey I hope?

Hopefully not, and if he moves to the bullpen he should gain a tick in velocity and he should end up much better than Duffey. I still don't understand what happened with Duffey - he has a great half season as a rookie starter, declines and gets put in the bullpen, and since then he's gotten worse. He should be considered an outlier... but with the way development has gone here, I can't say that for sure.

    • sweetmusicviola16 likes this
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ChrisKnutson
Jan 22 2019 08:08 PM
I know Pineda is supposed to be good this year, but I can’t help but feel that signing both him and Perez is really going to come back to bite us in 2020 when Stewart, Romero, Gonsalves, Thorpe, and Mejia all struggle due to lack of experience because they weren’t given a fair shot the year before.

Hopefully Perez can be what Miley was for Brewers last year, because then we’d have two “veteran” starters (Perez and Berrios) under contract beyond this year.
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sweetmusicviola16
Jan 23 2019 01:16 PM

 

I know Pineda is supposed to be good this year, but I can’t help but feel that signing both him and Perez is really going to come back to bite us in 2020 when Stewart, Romero, Gonsalves, Thorpe, and Mejia all struggle due to lack of experience because they weren’t given a fair shot the year before.

Hopefully Perez can be what Miley was for Brewers last year, because then we’d have two “veteran” starters (Perez and Berrios) under contract beyond this year.

I could see Perez being here for awhile, even if he is his career abysmal self.

    • ChrisKnutson likes this

This Twins organization is rich...in AAAA starters. The difference between that and a 5th starter appears to be the flip of a coin. 

 

That said, something usually happens to shake up the starting rotation. 2019 probably will be another season where the Twins use more starting pitchers than just about any other team. 

 

Let's hope 2018 was just a particularly ugly year for injuries and other mishaps. A relatively healthy season could see this team a lot more competitive than last year. 

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TheLeviathan
Jan 27 2019 07:21 PM

 

"The club made $261 million in revenue last year and spent $133 million on player expenses. Currently, the Twins are projected to start next season with a payroll around $100 million."

 

I keep seeing this kind of thing stated and it's based off of Forbes Magazine's team valuations. However, what people seem to forget to do is read the footnotes. Specifically...

 

"Revenue and operating income are for 2017 season and net of revenue sharing and stadium debt service."

 

So, if I'm reading that right, they did not spend $133 million on payroll on $261 million of revenue (50.9%) "last year."

 

They had an opening day payroll of $108 million in 2017 and reportedly bumped that up to something around $120 million by season's end, or roughly 45.9% of revenues. And those are revenues net of revenue sharing and stadium debt service (I have no idea how those would apply to the Twins, but the point is that the revenue figures are not gross revenues).

 

Over the 10 years prior to and including 2017, revenues steadily rose from $158 million in 2008 (reported in the Forbes 2009 report) to the $261 million level for 2017 (as reported in the 2018 report).

 

If we assume that revenues increase for 2018 and 2019 continue at the same roughly $10 million per year, it would mean revenues for 2018 would be an estimated $271 million and 2019 would project to something in the low-to-mid $280s.

 

Given that revenues being distributed from various central MLB sources have been going up in recent years, that may be a very conservative estimate.

 

Regardless, it would mean a $100 million payroll would project to be around 35% of revenues and would need to get up to $140 million (by season end) to reach the 50% level.

 

Point is, we should stop using payroll figures from a season one year more recent than the year for which revenues have been reported.

 

I dig this SD Buhr.This post was on fire.

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Major League Ready
Jan 28 2019 01:30 AM

 

"The club made $261 million in revenue last year and spent $133 million on player expenses. Currently, the Twins are projected to start next season with a payroll around $100 million."

 

I keep seeing this kind of thing stated and it's based off of Forbes Magazine's team valuations. However, what people seem to forget to do is read the footnotes. Specifically...

 

"Revenue and operating income are for 2017 season and net of revenue sharing and stadium debt service."

 

So, if I'm reading that right, they did not spend $133 million on payroll on $261 million of revenue (50.9%) "last year."

 

They had an opening day payroll of $108 million in 2017 and reportedly bumped that up to something around $120 million by season's end, or roughly 45.9% of revenues. And those are revenues net of revenue sharing and stadium debt service (I have no idea how those would apply to the Twins, but the point is that the revenue figures are not gross revenues).

 

Over the 10 years prior to and including 2017, revenues steadily rose from $158 million in 2008 (reported in the Forbes 2009 report) to the $261 million level for 2017 (as reported in the 2018 report).

 

If we assume that revenues increase for 2018 and 2019 continue at the same roughly $10 million per year, it would mean revenues for 2018 would be an estimated $271 million and 2019 would project to something in the low-to-mid $280s.

 

Given that revenues being distributed from various central MLB sources have been going up in recent years, that may be a very conservative estimate.

 

Regardless, it would mean a $100 million payroll would project to be around 35% of revenues and would need to get up to $140 million (by season end) to reach the 50% level.

 

Point is, we should stop using payroll figures from a season one year more recent than the year for which revenues have been reported.

 

Why would you assume their revenue will go up from 2017? It would actually be up 20M from 2017 levels based on your assumption of a $10M/yr increase. Attendance has been dropping every year and suspect it will next year two unless things really come together. They received the BAM money last year so2018 will be up but it makes no sense to assume 2019 will be higher than last year or even 2017.

 

"The club made $261 million in revenue last year and spent $133 million on player expenses. Currently, the Twins are projected to start next season with a payroll around $100 million."

 

I keep seeing this kind of thing stated and it's based off of Forbes Magazine's team valuations. However, what people seem to forget to do is read the footnotes. Specifically...

 

"Revenue and operating income are for 2017 season and net of revenue sharing and stadium debt service."

 

So, if I'm reading that right, they did not spend $133 million on payroll on $261 million of revenue (50.9%) "last year."

 

They had an opening day payroll of $108 million in 2017 and reportedly bumped that up to something around $120 million by season's end, or roughly 45.9% of revenues. And those are revenues net of revenue sharing and stadium debt service (I have no idea how those would apply to the Twins, but the point is that the revenue figures are not gross revenues).

 

Over the 10 years prior to and including 2017, revenues steadily rose from $158 million in 2008 (reported in the Forbes 2009 report) to the $261 million level for 2017 (as reported in the 2018 report).

 

If we assume that revenues increase for 2018 and 2019 continue at the same roughly $10 million per year, it would mean revenues for 2018 would be an estimated $271 million and 2019 would project to something in the low-to-mid $280s.

 

Given that revenues being distributed from various central MLB sources have been going up in recent years, that may be a very conservative estimate.

 

Regardless, it would mean a $100 million payroll would project to be around 35% of revenues and would need to get up to $140 million (by season end) to reach the 50% level.

 

Point is, we should stop using payroll figures from a season one year more recent than the year for which revenues have been reported.

Revenue increases over 10 years was half due to the opening of Target Field.


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