Jump to content

Providing independent coverage of the Minnesota Twins.

The Forums

DaveW: Dodgers trade for Dozier to be completed within th...

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 05:18 AM
Have a source within one of the two teams listed above. I was just texted that the deal is all but done, just a couple questions on the 4...
Full topic ›

Article: Less Is More?

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 02:30 AM
During this week's Winter Meetings we've seen the Chicago White Sox trade two of their premier players, Chris Sale and Adam Eaton, for a...
Full topic ›

Sale to the Red Sox

Other Baseball Today, 02:04 AM
While this could be discussed in today's Winter Meetings thread, I think that the Chris Sale trade warrants its own thread.   Chris...
Full topic ›

The Free Agent Class of 2018

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 01:29 AM
A very interesting article on USAToday by Bob Nightingale:    Too soon? MLB GMs salivating over potential 2018 free agents...
Full topic ›

Article: Haley Trade Carries Shades Of Old And New

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 10:47 PM
Carrying the No. 1 pick in Thursday's Rule 5 draft, the Minnesota Twins got creative, selecting coveted flamethrower Miguel Diaz and imme...
Full topic ›
Subscribe to Twins Daily Email

From MinnCentric



Thoughts on Payroll

Geoff Baker, a scribe for The Seattle Times, penned a lengthy but very interesting column earlier this week about spending in baseball.

I recommend taking the time to read it, as the themes are very applicable for Twins fans, but the gist of his argument is that ultra-rich baseball owners are gaming the system by soaking up public money and spending farAttached Image: 000_A_Moneytree4.jpg less on payroll than they can afford to. Meanwhile, the baseball community overlooks this injustice and credits general managers (such as Billy Beane, Andrew Friedman and Terry Ryan) who are able to succeed under superficial and ultimately unnecessary financial constraints.


I've heard plenty of Twins fans express outrage over the team's decision to cut payroll this year, and the points made by Baker in his widely read column only serve to fan the flames. In many ways, I can identify with these gripes. But I also wonder whether some fans are getting too caught up in their frustration, to the point where it's dampening their enjoyment of the sport.

Look, we all wish the Twins would spend more money. Basically every fan wishes their team would spend more money. But as Baker's column points out, the problem is systemic. I don't see him naming one single owner who is bucking the trend and dumping money out of his own pocket into payroll.

These guys generally become millionaires (or billionaires) through savvy business decisions and by running a profitable organization, so that's how they operate their baseball clubs. They put the money that their product earns back into that product -- into payroll, into paying employees, into community funds -- and yes, maybe they pocket a little. That's their right. They own the team.

Baker makes it seem unconscionable for any fan to be content with this model, but really, what is any amount of whining and complaining going to accomplish? The Twins have always claimed they put around 50-52 percent of revenue back into payroll, which would indicate a current annual revenue stream of about around $200 million. Maybe they make more, but is there any evidence for that other than blind frustration? They don't open their books, and they aren't required to.

If you take their word for it, the Twins went over their stated threshold last year because they wanted to retain a few extra players (namely Jim Thome and Carl Pavano) and make a push. Didn't work out. I think we can all agree that their prospects for contending this year are not as strong, so I'm not going to sit here and blast them for falling back to the $100 million level that has been set as a baseline. They've demonstrated that they're willing to exceed that benchmark when the time is right, but now is probably not that time.

One hundred million dollars, spent well, should be plenty to contend in this division. It puts the Twins solidly in the upper half of MLB team payrolls. Yes, the Pohlads could afford to spend more, but so could every other owner. That's just the way it is, and the way it shall be.

By endlessly complaining about a situation that's not likely to change any time soon (and that we, as individual fans, have no real control over, regardless of Baker's rant) you're wasting your breath and sucking the fun out of the game for yourself.


  • Share:
  • submit to reddit
Subscribe to Twins Daily Email

0 Comments