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GAME THREAD 8/9/2020: Minnesota Twins @ Kansas City Royal...

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 05:18 AM
Is it time to panic yet?   Of course not! Honestly, after the last three games, I am just as confident in this team being a contende...
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2020 Twins Transactions

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 03:16 PM
There haven't been many yet, but I'll start this today...   The Twins just announced that Zack Littell (hamstring) has been placed o...
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Where are they now? Ex-Twins in 2020

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 03:16 PM
I said in the 2019 thread that I would start this forum thread...    Let's start populating it. How many former Twins are on ro...
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Option C(astellanos)

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 02:33 PM
We missed out on our big money aces. A big impact 3B will either cost age/money (Donaldson) or top prospects and money (Arenado/Bryant)....
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Future Roster Transactions

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 09:41 AM
Jake Odorizzi gets activated today to face the Royals, filling out the 28-man active roster which will include 16 (!) pitchers. The way t...
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How COVID-Shortened Season Affects Kenta Maeda's Contract

The Twins' newest right-handed starter has a complicated contract, but the team got some clarity on it for 2020 this week.
Image courtesy of © David Berding-USA TODAY Sports
When the Twins traded for Kenta Maeda in February, one of the interesting nuances of the trade was his complicated, incentive-laden contract. Now, after a massive shakeup, figuring out just what that deal will pay is harder than ever. It might also be more important.

The Pohlad family, which owns the team, can certainly afford to pay everyone their prorated salaries, even allowing for whatever losses they might realize based on a truncated season in which they will not be allowed to welcome large crowds at Target Field. Still, every team figures to operate on a tight budget this season, and even into 2021, as owners put up a united front and try to maximize profit despite revenue shortfalls. A contract like Maeda’s can be especially valuable under those circumstances, but it can also become onerous.

On Monday, the league and the MLB Players Association announced their agreement on the disposition of incentives and vesting options in player contracts in a short season. The terms of that agreement stipulate that both amounts paid and thresholds will be prorated. Thus, a player who needed to pitch 162 innings in order to qualify for a vesting option would need precisely 60 to do so. A player who met a prorated incentive threshold worth $250,000 would be paid $92,500 for doing so.

With those things pinned down, we can now say what Maeda can make in 2020. He’ll get $1,11 million as a base salary. If and when he is on the active roster come Opening Day late next week, he will earn another $55,500. After that, things start to get really interesting.

Maeda’s deal provides for incentives based both on games started and on innings pitched. Under the final agreement on such issues, he will make $370,000 each when he makes his sixth and seventh starts of the season. If he gets to nine, 11, and 12 starts, each of those will trigger additional payments of $555,000. If he’s a full-time starter, it seems reasonable to guess that he would get 11 turns during the 60-game campaign.

There are 12 different innings totals that would trigger bonus payments to Maeda: 33, 37, 41, 44, 48, 52, 56, 59, 63, 67, 70, and 74. The first 11 would each net him $92,500. If he got to 74 innings, he’d cash in for an extra $277,500. Given both his track record and the ramp-up period that is leading us into the season, however, it seems optimistic to project Maeda for more than about 62 innings.

If he does make 11 starts and pitch 62 frames, he’ll add $2.59 million to his earnings for the year, bringing him to a total of $3.755 million. That’s an exceptional bargain for the Twins, considering that the Dodgers kicked in $3 million as part of the trade, and paid $2.4365 million of that to the team this year.

The trickiness of prorating starts and innings totals on an incentive-laden deal could make for resentment on one side or the other in a case like this. It could, in the cases of some workhorse starters, make it easier to hit those incentive thresholds, and thus tempt the team to manipulate the situation, as the Dodgers have done with Maeda in full-length seasons over the past few years. Maeda requested a trade from LA, which speaks to the effect of such fudging on player morale.

A less equitable system for handling incentives and bonuses could also have left players feeling mistreated, but prorating both thresholds and bonuses was the obvious solution and both sides eventually arrived there.

There’s no reason, given this structure, for the Twins to do anything but start Maeda every time his turn in the rotation comes, and to use him to the fullest extent that his health and effectiveness permit. If Michael Pineda returns to the crowded rotation in mid-September, the team could plausibly move Maeda to the bullpen, since he has more and better experience in that role than any of the other candidates for such a shift. They might even be able to do so without upsetting Maeda, given the lower stakes of the decision with prorated dollar amounts and given the strangeness of the whole season. But they should only do so if it’s the optimal baseball decision. Business need not enter into the equation.

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13 Comments

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IndianaTwin
Jul 15 2020 11:01 PM

I was wondering about this. With this scenario, he could easily have some games when he hits three markers, one for the start and two for innings levels.

 

In theory, he could even get four incentives if he has something like 55.2 innings though 10 starts and goes 7.1 to reach 56, 59, and 63 in his 11th start.

    • Channing1964 likes this
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Channing1964
Jul 16 2020 12:09 AM
Whatever it is it better be fair to Maeda. What the Dodgers did to him was Bush League. The equivalent of manipulating service time, collusion, and any other owner back room "screw the players over" scheme they have dreamt up over this C.B.A. I would like to believe the Minnesota Twins treat their players way better than that.
    • DocBauer likes this

Based on the Twins recent history, Matt, I suspect Roco will be told to not consider the incentives when scheduling Maeda's workload.

 

One question I do have, will the Dodgers make a claim to recover part of what they paid to the Twins for this year based on the shortened season and reduced dollars owed Maeda? If they do, do they have a case?

    • DocBauer likes this

Whatever it is it better be fair to Maeda. What the Dodgers did to him was Bush League. The equivalent of manipulating service time, collusion, and any other owner back room "screw the players over" scheme they have dreamt up over this C.B.A. I would like to believe the Minnesota Twins treat their players way better than that.

I would like to think so also, but Buxton had his service time manipulated in 2018.

It's still so affordable for a quality starter, the Twins should make sure he's happy.

    • TopGunn#22 likes this

 

 

 

One question I do have, will the Dodgers make a claim to recover part of what they paid to the Twins for this year based on the shortened season and reduced dollars owed Maeda? If they do, do they have a case?

It will depend on what the trade was for.It was for cash, then no case, in my opinion, if it was for a portion of his actual pay then they may.Some deals as I understand it call for a part of the actual pay, meaning if the player gets suspended and the player does not get paid that portion, then the trading team saves as well.For example, if the deal was for 50% of the actual pay, then the trading team will save.However, if the deal was for just cash, say 5 mil, and the assumption was to pay for a portion of the contract, the deal for 5 mil would still stand.

    • rdehring likes this

 

Whatever it is it better be fair to Maeda. What the Dodgers did to him was Bush League. The equivalent of manipulating service time, collusion, and any other owner back room "screw the players over" scheme they have dreamt up over this C.B.A. I would like to believe the Minnesota Twins treat their players way better than that.

I am not saying the Dodgers did not use the contract Maeda signed to their advantage, but would not call it "Bush League" to do so.Maeda signed the deal, he did not have to, and he knew the possibility of how it could play out. Same thing with the CBA.Sure the owners have worked the deal to their advantage, and the players are not happy about it, but the deal was made and the teams are working within it.Now collusion is another thing, but collusion requires that teams actually worked together to keep pay down, not that they separately decided that the player was not worth the price they wanted.Just because the player feels they are worth a certain value does not mean the teams agree.Teams have changed their valuation process since the last CBA, that is why there will be a work stoppage because players signed a bad deal that is working against them.They did not have the foresight of how it could be manipulated against them.Maybe their union leader should have thought of those things. 

 

It is not like the players were conned or anything, they just did not expect the change in thoughts by teams and evaluating players. The fact that they are opposed to a cap and floor means they want the largest part of the revenue pie, while owners are trying to the same.Both sides trying to get more, instead of sharing in the wealth means the other side will get less.It is like sales generally.Stores will charge varying prices and some people will shop around for cheapest price, or price match, but the store is hoping customers will pay more for same product you can get else where.  

    • TopGunn#22 and rdehring like this
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Channing1964
Jul 16 2020 10:24 AM

I am not saying the Dodgers did not use the contract Maeda signed to their advantage, but would not call it "Bush League" to do so.Maeda signed the deal, he did not have to, and he knew the possibility of how it could play out. Same thing with the CBA.Sure the owners have worked the deal to their advantage, and the players are not happy about it, but the deal was made and the teams are working within it.Now collusion is another thing, but collusion requires that teams actually worked together to keep pay down, not that they separately decided that the player was not worth the price they wanted.Just because the player feels they are worth a certain value does not mean the teams agree.Teams have changed their valuation process since the last CBA, that is why there will be a work stoppage because players signed a bad deal that is working against them.They did not have the foresight of how it could be manipulated against them.Maybe their union leader should have thought of those things. 
 
It is not like the players were conned or anything, they just did not expect the change in thoughts by teams and evaluating players. The fact that they are opposed to a cap and floor means they want the largest part of the revenue pie, while owners are trying to the same.Both sides trying to get more, instead of sharing in the wealth means the other side will get less.It is like sales generally.Stores will charge varying prices and some people will shop around for cheapest price, or price match, but the store is hoping customers will pay more for same product you can get else where.

I never meant to start a new thread over it. I simply used those examples to demonstrate how in my opinion, the way Los Angeles handled his usage was straight up a screw over and I think the fact that he just took it all these years is commendable. We all know Maeda's contract ia sweet deal for the owners. I merely meant I don't ever wanna see the Twins pull that back handed kind of crap with Any Players Ever. That's a great way to make sure free agents don't wanna come to Minnesota. nuff said? good.
    • Trov likes this
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Channing1964
Jul 16 2020 10:26 AM
I think we can save the collective bargaining debate for December 2021.

If I were a starter, I would never sign a contract with innings incentives. I would sign one with win incentives if incentives were offered. Innings can be manipulated while wins are not likely to be unless the team is stupid. Even an ERA incentive is beeter than an innings incentive. Management will always manipulate things in their favor.

 

I never meant to start a new thread over it. I simply used those examples to demonstrate how in my opinion, the way Los Angeles handled his usage was straight up a screw over and I think the fact that he just took it all these years is commendable. We all know Maeda's contract ia sweet deal for the owners. I merely meant I don't ever wanna see the Twins pull that back handed kind of crap with Any Players Ever. That's a great way to make sure free agents don't wanna come to Minnesota. nuff said? good.

Who was the starting pitcher a couple years ago who had an incentive for reaching a certain innings level, maybe 200. Recall he was within less than an inning and Molitor told him they would bring him in the last Sunday of the year for an inning of relief. Remember he chose to not do so. Stand up move by the pitcher and the Twins.

 

And regarding the above comment, aren't incentives based on things like ERA and wins not allowed?

    • Danchat likes this

Who was the starting pitcher a couple years ago who had an incentive for reaching a certain innings level, maybe 200. Recall he was within less than an inning and Molitor told him they would bring him in the last Sunday of the year for an inning of relief. Remember he chose to not do so. Stand up move by the pitcher and the Twins.

And regarding the above comment, aren't incentives based on things like ERA and wins not allowed?


I believe you are thinking of Hughes
    • TopGunn#22, rdehring and Melissa like this

I know there aren't many Twins uniform pics to choose from, but this is an odd one.