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2020 MLB (non-Twins) Postseason Discussion Thread

Other Baseball Today, 08:11 AM
Feel free to chime in here about any of the (non-Twins) 2020 MLB postseason games!
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Target Field Tax Status

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 08:11 AM
Been reading about all the losses (alleged or not) that MLB has (and maybe will again) taken with the pandemic, and wondered how the tax...
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Not to add more doom and gloom

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 07:31 AM
This is interesting and sort of concerning. Article snippet comes from the incomparable Jayson Stark of The Athletic (Which is must read...
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MLB Sees Local TV And Streaming Viewership Up Over 4% For...

Other Baseball Yesterday, 08:25 PM
Twins local viewership up 9%.   Link to the article at Forbes:   https://www.forbes.c...0/#36bd03b33dac
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Nelson Cruz wants 2 years

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 08:16 PM
https://www.mlbtrade...-year-deal.html
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Recent Blogs


Twins' Payroll Points to Six Big Decisions

The Twins’ projected payroll is almost always the closest thing we have to a crystal ball. For the last fifteen years, it has been the lens through which we can understand offseason possibilities, and how aggressive or passive the team is likely to be. The same thing is true this year, but uff-da – that lens is sure covered with a bunch of gunk.
Still, through the crud, we can see the Twins wrestling with six big decisions. The first is the biggest, and everything else is dependent on it:

Decision 1: How much will the Twins budget in player payroll next year?
This is always a small mystery, but we usually have an idea within $10 million or (at most) $20 million. This year? It could be as much as a $60 million swing between the lowest and highest number.

Last year’s payroll was about $138 million. If it increases by 10% or so (which would be expected in a normal year), it could be as high as $150 million. If they anticipate zero fan revenue and being stuck with a full season of paying players, it’s possible it could be as low as … yikes. Your guess is as good as mine. Anything under $90M would be disastrous, so let’s set the floor there.

The difference is even bigger than it looks, because $87 million is pretty much committed, so they could have anywhere from $3M to $63M to spend. Here’s a breakdown. For more on these numbers, make sure to watch last night’s Offseason Live.



My best guess? It is reduced to $115-125M, leaving them $28M to $38M to spend. But they need to fill five pretty large holes that weren’t included in that $87M.

Decision 2: How much to spend on a designated hitter?
Nelson Cruz is a free agent. They can try and bring him back, but he’s going to cost $13-$15M. Or they can search for someone cheaper on the free agent market. Or they can plug in one of the Twins’ prospect bats, like Brent Rooker, Alex Kirilloff or Trevor Larnach, and save the money for another spot.

Decision 3: Bring back Eddie Rosario?
If the Twins offer Eddie Rosario arbitration, he will make around $10M. (That $10M is not included in the $87M figure.) Or they can sever ties and play some combination of prospects plus Jake Cave or Lamonte Wade Jr in left field for less than $1M, and save that money for another spot.

Decision 4: How much to spend on a starting pitcher?
Jake Odorizzi and Rich Hill (and Homer Bailey) are all free agents. The starting rotation next year still has Kenta Maeda, Jose Berrios, Michael Pineda and Randy Dobnak, but that leaves a spot open. If you believe the Twins need an ace, Trevor Bauer will be a free agent, but he could cost $30M. Is this where they should spend their money, or budget less for a back-end-of-the-rotation starter?

Decision 5: Who must be paid in the bullpen?
Trevor May is a free agent, and likely to earn $4-6M. Taylor Rogers will be eligible for arbitration and be due a raise up to $6-7M if the Twins offer it. Sergio Romo has a $5M team option. None of those are included in the committed $87M, so bringing them all back boosts the payroll almost $17M, or a little more than paying Nelson Cruz to return. Or should the Twins feel comfortable relying on their existing bullpen depth?

Decision 6: How much to invest in a utility player?
Both Marwin Gonzalez and Ehire Adrianza are free agents this offseason, and together they played 97 games (in a 60-game season). Should the Twins roll the dice with cheaper internal options, right after they went through a season depending on utility players due to injuries to Josh Donaldson and Luis Arraez, and as Jorge Polanco undergoes offseason surgery? How important is that compared to the other decisions?

I’d encourage you to answer these questions yourself. Keep track of the totals. See where your payroll ends up. See if you can hit a number you’re comfortable with.

I think you’ll find that tough choices are going to need to be made. Difficult priorities will need to be set. How brutal those choices are depends on a lot on the budget, and oddly enough, it doesn’t appear the Twins (or several other MLB teams) really know the answer to that question yet. Like a lot during the pandemic, the answer is to keep one’s head up and adjust.

But those adjustments will still depend on payroll and its crystal ball. Even if it is cloudy.

  • NoCryingInBaseball, mikelink45, nclahammer and 4 others like this

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37 Comments

Great topic, great opinions.I am mostly in chpettit19's corner, with a couple of changes.I start with Cruz.We haven't won a post season game in our last 18 tries.Our offense seems to desert us come the post season.Cruz was the ONLY hitter who showed up.I HAVE TO HAVE HIM.$10-$13 million-1year with a $10 million dollar 2nd year option.He wants to be here...we need him.Bring him back.  

 

Rosario is traded or DFA'd.Sano is TRADED.$10 million saved.Someone will be intrigued by his power.I have Buxton, Kepler, Kiriloff, Rooker, Wade and maybe Cave in the Outfield.Garver & Jeffers are my catchers.Donaldson, Polanco and Arraez are 3B, SS, 2B.I get Royce Lewis up here as my super utility guy.Maybe he can play Winter Ball and play all over.But the youth movement MUST begin.Maeda, Berrios, Pineda and Dobnak are 4 starters.I offer Rich Hill one more year at 2-3 million.And then I pay $30-$35 million for Trevor Bauer.The Twins CAN afford both Cruz and Bauer.Kiriloff, Rooker, Lewis (and Larnach not too long after) need to be around Cruz and Donaldson.it's more important to get them up to the show than risk another lost of limited minor league season.I keep Rogers at $5-$6 million---He's much better than what he showed this year.He'll be back.All this could have a payroll of roughly $115-$120 million.Start the youth movement.Retain valuable vets.In 2-years we will know if Buxton should be our CF or if Lewis supplants him.If Kepler sticks and Kiriloff, Larnach and Rooker replace him.If Polanco is our SS or if Lewis or Wander Javier or somebody else is.And sometime in 2021 or 2022 Balazovic and Duran are knocking on the door.The Braves and Dodgers, the Rays and White Sox ALL have young players ready to emerge if they haven't already.We have to trust our young guys.

    • wabene likes this
To re-state the obvious, and John did so wonderfully, we just don't know the finances are going to look like in 2021. We also don't know, and will probably never know, how much MLB lost as a whole in 2020, much less the Twins directly. Unfortunately, what we also don't know is anything on a team by team basis. Did large market teams lose less % wise due to TV and radio and merchandising deals? OR, can we safely assume a similar loss % across the board?

No matter what kind of dip we will undoubtedly see in FA offers, there will be a few key BIG signings, just as tbere every year. It's rather easy to speculate FA dollars/offers will be depressed, however, that depression fits right along with "anticipated" payroll cuts for most teams. Therefore, depressed offers only echo the shrunken payroll figures expected. What COULD influence less expensive offers, ergo VALUE to teams, is a flux of non-tendered players to saturate the market. Think the debate on a Rosario, for example. Good players teams may feel compelled to walk away from.

Since this FO has come on board, ownership has proven to be much more flexible and aggressive with spending. They haven't exactly been printing money, they are still frugal as a mkd-market must be so, but they haven't exactly been miserly either. While moves have been good bargains, they haven't been opposed to trades, 1yr contracts, extensions that make sense, laying out some coin to bring in or keep players or even eat a few dollars here and there. This team still has a wide open window of contention with players on hand, and some very nice talent rising up.

While it is my hope, all of ours I dare say, to at least remain status quo around $138-140M...if not bump to $150M which would put them about the ML mean for the past 2-3yrs...I think some sort of cutting will inevitably take place. I see, with my head and heart in complete agreement, they WILL NOT SLASH said budget. To do so would be self defeating for an organization coming off 2 of the best seasons in recent memory, if not history, of the Twins. I think a target of $125M is very safe and doable. I'd like to think they wouldn't balk at $130M...less than a 10% cut...if it made sense for the competitive team the FO wants to put in place.

One of the biggest problems...faced by almost every team, not just the Twins...is no milb season in 2020. But, of course, just focusing on the Twins, how much better does anyone feel about plugging in one of our top OF prosoects, or Gordon and Blankenhorn as utility options, or Duran/Balazovic/Chalmers as rotation pieces when all you bad was the taxi squad scenario thus far? I'm not opposed to promotion...and I don't think the staff is either...or trading a couple prosoects. But it sort of feels like you are betting against the odds or potentially selling low at this point.

Pushing the payroll envelope to $130M, a 6% cut, my back of the napkin scribbles have something like the following:

Cruz: 13M
Rogers: 6M
May: 4M
Clippard: 3M
Utility: 2M
Odorizzi: 12M

IF $130M is viable, I have $3M for a second utility player, or invest a little more in my primary option, maybe a cheap flier for the pen or rotation. Not much to work with, but you still have a really good team with some depth.

To me, it would really be hard to let May go. We're he a FA from another team, there would be a clamoring to bring his velocity and SO numbers on board. Odorizzi slots in beautifully with Pineda in the 3/4 spots to give us one of the best rotations we have had in ANY recent memory. And remember, he was set back by a stiff back, a shot to the chest and a bloody blister, NOT any serious injury. Cruz has been awesome at the plate and in the clubhouse. He is professional and keeps himself in great shape. A slump over the last couple of weeks due to a minor injury tweak should in no way indicate he is done. In fact, the 60 game season may have actually SAVED his body all the more for at least one more .900+ OPS season.

But to build the best and deepest team you can, it seems to me at least 1 of these guys has to go. Do we really let Nellie walk and try to find a cheaper option, or just rotate the DH spot? Then you have to potentially bring Rosario back for another year, right? Can you afford to let May walk and trust in Alcala and bank on Colina or Chalmers? (Hate to move both out of the rotation so early). And if not Odorizzi, then you have to trade some milb talent to bring in another SP. You have to find another Odorizzi or Maeda trade out there.

I've argued that just keeping Oddo made more sense to me than making a trade for a SP, whether it be 1yr or 3yrs. I still like that idea, but finances may not allow. I don't want to "sell" too early on prospects with no milb season to determine readiness, but Musgrove from Pittsburg, or similar, could make a ton of sense.

Maybe letting May walk makes sense and you keep everyone else and free up a few more $M. You have pen options and some good looking arms really close. Again, really hate to just "give up" on a couple of those arms as potential SP, but it may be prudent.

In addition to the enigmatic but popular and productive Rosario probably going, at LEAST ONE of the quality guys I've listed above, someone who meant a lot to the past 2 seasons, is going to have to go. Were you to twist my arm, or force me to watch a Yankee/Packer game, I'd change my thoughts on brining back Oddo and move a couple nice prospects for a controlled SP. Larnach and Enlow maybe? (Hurts)!

Next, I'd have to let May walk. I think it's a mistake that could haunt and bring regret. But at least there is some depth, talented young arms available, and the FO and Johnson seem to have an eye for talent.

Sorry, not sorry, for the long post. Just a lot to say. Sure hope it was relevant.
    • rdehring likes this
Just tossing this out there, I'm really surprised by how many people are wanting/projecting Lewis as part of the 2021 team. I think that is a lot of false hope at this point.

Don't get me wrong. I think he's super talented and has a nice future ahead of him. I don't hold a poor 2019 season with nagging injuries against him. Neither do the Twins as they promoted him once in '19 despite poor numbers. His great AFL MVP shows his potential. And I'm very pleased he was part of the St Paul taxi squad to continue to work on his game and develop. The FO was aggressive with Jeffers, and at least semi-aggressive with Rooker, Blankenhorn, Colina and Kirilloff late, even to just get their feet wet. Shows to me they believed enough in them to do so, plus opportunity/need was there.

I think there is a real and practical chance that Lewis appears in 2021 as a potential super utility fill in. And I am not dismissing his ability or future impact, even if his initial ML time is spent as said utility option. Remember Arraez's initial multi-position introduction in 2019? But NO WAY they rush him to a bench spot to begin 2021.

I really liked Ted's recent blog about utility options. He mentioned guys like Jrickson Profar and Asdrubal Cabrera as options to replace Marwin. (Still need a legit SS option on the cheap). We need someone like those guys for 2021 and let Lewis develop a little more.
    • Major League Ready and wabene like this
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LA VIkes Fan
Oct 14 2020 07:37 PM
I think we’re going to see a very similar roster with just a few changes. The big decision will be Cruz or Rosario, no way to keep them both. I frankly might choose Rosario but I expect Cruz to be the choice. Gonzalez should be gone, but I think Adrianza will stay unless we have another utility player capable of playing shortstop. I think they will make Gordon and Lewis stay in the minors and show something before being that player and releasing Adrianza. These two leaving opens up room for Kiriloff, A veteran, low wage utility guy, and I would trade out Cave for Rooker.

On the bullpen side, I’m afraid May is probably going to leave for a multi year contract elsewhere. We keep Rogers and either Clippard or Romo. I would much prefer Clippard. Colina comes in.

Finally, with starting pitching, I think they are going to make a run at signing Odorizzi to a one year deal In the same neighborhood of last year. I just don’t know if there’s much of a market for him to get a multi year deal at this point but there might be. If there is, we lose him and probably replace him with a middling veteran free agent or Hill on one more hope and a prayer contract.

Overall, that would look like a team that could still compete but probably doesn’t have enough to do much in the playoffs. The nightmare continues.
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LA VIkes Fan
Oct 14 2020 07:37 PM
I think we’re going to see a very similar roster with just a few changes. The big decision will be Cruz or Rosario, no way to keep them both. I frankly might choose Rosario but I expect Cruz to be the choice. Gonzalez should be gone, but I think Adrianza will stay unless we have another utility player capable of playing shortstop. I think they will make Gordon and Lewis stay in the minors and show something before being that player and releasing Adrianza. These two leaving opens up room for Kiriloff, A veteran, low wage utility guy, and I would trade out Cave for Rooker.

On the bullpen side, I’m afraid May is probably going to leave for a multi year contract elsewhere. We keep Rogers and either Clippard or Romo. I would much prefer Clippard. Colina comes in.

Finally, with starting pitching, I think they are going to make a run at signing Odorizzi to a one year deal In the same neighborhood of last year. I just don’t know if there’s much of a market for him to get a multi year deal at this point but there might be. If there is, we lose him and probably replace him with a middling veteran free agent or Hill on one more hope and a prayer contract.

Overall, that would look like a team that could still compete but probably doesn’t have enough to do much in the playoffs. The nightmare continues.
I think payroll will be reduced substantially. No income from this year and next year highly questionable. Rosario will need to be non-tendered as he has no excess trade value. No way they waste money on Adrianza or Gonzales when Gordon can at least fill in partially. As for the other choices I have no idea other than you do need to start incorporating some of the prospects that are ready. I wouldn’t be shocked if Sano is dealt.

Anybody have buyers remorse on Josh Donaldson? I do.
    • Otwins likes this
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BrianBuchanan
Oct 15 2020 08:42 AM

Wow, after seeing the numbers all laid out, I wouldn't expect Cruz or Rosario back next year.Even if they plan to spend up to 100-115 mil, I would expect the majority of that to go towards a new super-utility guy, a back-up SS, one SP, and rounding out the bullpen.Doesn't leave much room for 10 mil+ sluggers.  

I've been watching the Rays alot this post season. Their starters are great and bullpen is lights out. How is their payroll always so low??
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Major League Ready
Oct 15 2020 04:19 PM

 

I've been watching the Rays alot this post season. Their starters are great and bullpen is lights out. How is their payroll always so low??

They made a very lopsided trade to get Glasnow. They traded Chris Archer with 2 years of Control for Glasnow and Austin Meadows. Archer had 2 years of below league average performance. Glasnow has been very good and they have 3 more years of control. Meadows was great last year but hurt this year. They have 4 more years of control with him. They have always been willing to give up good players with 1-2 years of control for players with 4-5 years of control and/or prospects.

 

They have always been great at drafting and developing SPs. They have also done a great job with other teams cast-offs. They got Nick Anderson from us as well as Curtiss (tonight's opener) and Slegers from us, all of whom we DFAd.

Bauer will be way more than 30 millionunless we're signing him to a 6 year/180 million dollar deal, which I highly doubt he would accept. 

 

Would you offer him 1 year at 43 million? 

 


Anybody have buyers remorse on Josh Donaldson? I do.

 I don't know, I was pretty pumped when the Twins signed him but I thought he had his calf issues figured out. When he played, he was as good as expected. I fully expect him to be the leader of this team when Cruz is gone.  

They have always been great at drafting and developing SPs. They have also done a great job with other teams cast-offs. They got Nick Anderson from us as well as Curtiss (tonight's opener) and Slegers from us, all of whom we DFAd.

All three of these pitchers passed through one or more other organizations after us before reaching the Rays. Anderson was a trade to the Marlins, Curtiss was traded to the Angels, and Slegers was the only one plucked via DFA/waivers (by the Pirates). It stings to not get the benefit after mostly developing them, but these other teams (plus the Phils on Curtiss) whiffed similarly and, unless it's a fluke, the Rays do indeed seem to have some sort of secret sauce.