View Full Version : Team Draft Spend (Internation & Domestic)

03-05-2013, 02:59 PM
I asked a question to Phil Mackey on a recent Twins chat:

Read the transcript from Phil Mackey's live Twins chat | 1500 ESPN Twin Cities ? Minnesota Sports News & Opinion (Twins, Vikings, Wolves, Wild, Gophers) | Sportswire: Minnesota Twins (http://www.1500espn.com/sportswire/Chat_live_about_the_Twins_with_Phil_Mackey_at_1_pm _Tuesday030413)


[Comment From GuestGuest: ]
In 2007 when the Twins cut payroll to retool their club ($71 Million -> $57 million) they spent some of the difference on pre-paying guys via signing bonuses (Morneau $6 million, Cuddyer $3 million). How are the 2013 Twins putting their available payroll ($100 million -> $80 million) to work in 2013 based on your reporting?

Tuesday March 5, 2013 1:56 Guest



The Twins spent more money in the draft and international signings last year than any team in baseball (something like $18 million)

For some reason the $18 million number looked off to me so I went out to research it and found the following:

Domestic Draft
BaseballAmerica.com: Draft: Early Draft Preview: Draft 2012: What Your Team Has To Spend (http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/draft/draft-preview/2012/2613426.html)

International Draft
2012 MLB International Free Agent Tracker 85% Sports (http://www.85percentsports.com/2012/07/03/2012-mlb-international-free-agent-tracker/)

Adding these together creates the following chart:


International Spend

Draft Spend


Minnesota Twins




San Diego Padres




Houston Astros




Toronto Blue Jays




St. Louis Cardinals




Chicago Cubs




Oakland Athletics




New York Mets




Pittsburgh Pirates




Boston Red Sox




Seattle Mariners




Cleveland Indians




Milwaukee Brewers




New York Yankees




Kansas City Royals




Baltimore Orioles




Colorado Rockies




Cincinnati Reds




Texas Rangers




Tampa Bay Rays




Chicago White Sox




Philadelphia Phillies




San Francisco Giants




Los Angeles Dodgers




Miami Marlins




Washington Nationals




Atlanta Braves




Arizona Diamondbacks




Detroit Tigers




Los Angeles Angels









The interesting things I found were:

- P-Mac was only off by $4 million, which is closer then I thought.
- The Twins are spending $7 million more than the average team
- If you add the additional draft spend to the Twins payroll ($80 million + $7 Draft over Average) you are still $13 million under a projected $100 million payroll.
- The Angels are really stealing from the draft to pay their free agents.

03-05-2013, 03:38 PM
That international spending is a little low. They spent their cap and will again next year when they have the 4th highest amount.

Can't do much about draft spending without forfeiting future picks.

03-05-2013, 03:57 PM
Who else did they sign? I only found Thorpe for $500,000 and Minier for $1,400,000?

03-05-2013, 03:59 PM
Is interesting to see 9 teams did nothing in the international market

03-05-2013, 04:03 PM
That international spending is a little low. They spent their cap and will again next year when they have the 4th highest amount.

Can't do much about draft spending without forfeiting future picks.

And conversely, it's hard to cut draft spending when you have a high first round pick unless you refuse to sign him. Half of the Twins draft payroll went to one player.

03-05-2013, 04:04 PM
Who else did they sign? I only found Thorpe for $500,000 and Minier for $1,400,000?

It's been reported they signed Mauricio Silva, a pitcher ranked #22. Minier was ranked #7. Don't recall the $$.

03-05-2013, 04:29 PM
The more I think about Mackey's reply the more annoyed I'm getting. He makes it seem like the Twins compensated the budget cuts this year by spending big in the draft LAST year. Heck no, it's the other way around, the Twins were forced to spend big on the draft by virtue of their poor record and in turn cut payroll the following season. So in effect, payroll was cut because the Twins had to follow the MLB slot guidelines. Surely neither the league nor players union would agree to the slot program if they figured teams like the Twins would in turn cut spending on MLB players.

Jeff P
03-05-2013, 04:36 PM
It's been reported they signed Mauricio Silva, a pitcher ranked #22. Minier was ranked #7. Don't recall the $$.

370K but i am not sure if counted toward the prior year since they signed him in Jan 2012.

Twins Sign Silva... No, Not THAT Silva - Twinkie Town (http://www.twinkietown.com/2012/1/12/2702350/twins-sign-silva-no-not-that-silva)

In any case, it does bring up a good point: the Twins will have a large international cap this year compared to most teams. People tend to focus on the major league salaries but to me there is no excuse for them to have much extra cap room. An extra 1-1.5M does not buy much at the major league level but it can be 2-3 extra good prospects.


John Bonnes
03-05-2013, 04:51 PM
It's questionable if the Twins should get "credit" for having the highest amount of spend for international and domestic prospects. The amount that they have to spend is essentially predetermined by other factors. All one can do is budget to that limit and cut payroll accordingly if it is too high.

(This, by the way, is exactly what the Twins did last offseason. They claimed that part of the reason payroll fell from $112 million to $95 million is because they needed to budget so much for the drafts. And this year, when they don't have as many commitments - it fell another $15 million.)

Here's roughly how it works:
1) The domestic draft has slots associated with each pick through something like 10 rounds. The higher the pick, the higher the amount of money. Teams have the sum of that slot money to spend on all those picks and they dare not go over it because it can cost them picks in future drafts.

So the Twins didn't spend so much because they were aggressive. They just had a lot of very high picks. They had a lot of high picks because they had the second worst record in baseball and because they were awarded extra picks when they let free agents like Michael Cuddyer walk because they didn't want to pay them.

I suppose one could argue that the Twins should get credit for paying their draft picks the slot money instead of just pocketing it, but that's organizational suicide; the whole point of these slot values is that they're holding down salaries so teams can get a bargain.

2) As for the international draft, every team has the same amount of money to spend. They can't go over it. I think it's about $3M. To not spend that is even dumber - the talent received per dollar spent is an unbelievable bargain.

So yes, the Twins spend a lot on their draft picks last year, but it wasn't because they saved a lot of money and were being aggressive towards their future. The cause and effect is mixed up. They spent the money they were allowed by MLB to spend on the draft, and then claimed they cut back spending slightly to accommodate that. (And then ignored that claim when draft costs went down this year.)

Seth Stohs
03-05-2013, 05:18 PM
The Twins spent the full $3 million last year. I think Jeremy posted them in the Rosters and Payrolls (those that were public). They basically spent their cap for the draft in 2012 and will again in 2013.

Those $ do not go into payroll. It's a different account... though obviously it's all under the same umbrella.

03-05-2013, 06:31 PM
In 2007 they went nuts in int'l FA for basically the first time ever. Many contended at the time that the draft/int'l and MLB budgets were completely independent of each other but it's always been my opinion that they used that extra money to not only pay the Cuddyer/Morneau bonuses but to make a splash internationally. The Twins might not have maxed this out every season since but they have been much more active internationally than before 2007.

John is mostly right with his explanation except that international budgets are also higher for losing teams so I think the Twins will have closer to 4M to spend internationally this year. but overall John's argument is correct teams can't spend extra money in the draft like they could before. they are given a certain budget to sign their picks and there are severe penalties for going over that amount. The same is true internationally. Teams can also trade a portion of this cap room which is an interesting twist.

One reason that the OP's numbers don't match up is that he didn't include the dozens of int'l players that signed for small amounts. Most of these guys never get reported.