Minnesota Twins News & Rumors Forum
  • MLB Payroll By The Numbers

    Every year USA Today examines the salaries of the Major League Baseball teams and their players and publishes them. Let's see that their numbers tell us about the Twins recent payroll cut....

    Swimming Upstream
    Twins payroll went from $112.7M last year to $94.1M this year, a decrease of $18.6M or 17%.

    Overall, MLB payrolls increased 6%. If the Twins payroll from 2011 would have increased 6%, the payroll would have been $119.5M, $25.4M more than actual level.

    Michael Cuddyer, Jason Kubel and Joe Nathan are making $25M this year with their new teams.


    Prince Fielder is making $23M with the new contract he signed with the Tigers.

    The top 3 free agent pitchers this year – CJ Wilson, Yu Darvish and Mark Buehrle – all have contracts that are back-loaded or, in Darvish’s case, come with significant money going back to his Japanese club. Because of that, those three are making less than $25M this year combined.

    Not Alone
    The Twins were not the only team to cut payroll. 13 of 30 MLB teams cut payroll. For instance, the Yankees cut payroll, too. They went down $4.7M to $197.9M, which is still $100M more than the Twins.

    However, the Twins had the fourth biggest cut in payroll in dollars, and the fifth biggest cut in payroll by percentage.

    But the Twins were not the AL Central’s biggest cut. That honor goes to the White Sox, who cut their payroll $30.8M. They’re still the second biggest spenders in the AL Central. The Twins are 3rd, $2.8M behind the Sox.

    The Rise Of The Midwest
    Of the top five teams with the greatest boost to payroll, three of them are in the AL Central.

    Fifth is the Kansas City Royals, whose payroll rose from $36.1M to $60.9M, which is still $34 million less than the Twins. That 69% increase represented the second biggest percentage increase in MLB.

    Fourth is the Detroit Tigers, who increase payroll $26.6M to $132M. Almost all of that can be attributed to signing Prince Fielder.

    And second is the Cleveland Indians, who spent an extra $29.2M to raise to $78.4M.

    The Miami Marlins, who moved into a new ballpark, had the largest increase, both in pure dollars and by percentage. Their payroll increased by $61M, more than doubling their payroll last year.
    This article was originally published in blog: MLB Payroll By The Numbers started by John Bonnes
    Comments 43 Comments
    1. scottz's Avatar
      scottz -
      Quote Originally Posted by mike wants wins View Post
      Willingham is their largest FA contract ever. They have never traded for or signed a big time, legit player, in his prime earning years to a bigger contract than that, and that's the only 1 I can even think of. Why would you expect them to sign a legit MLB starter for big money next year, given over 40 years of history suggesting otherwise? Does anyone think that is Terry Ryan's approach?

      I have zero issue with the cut in OF salaries, as Willingam is better than Cuddeyer and cost less, and Kubel is somewhat replacable. It's the lack of spending on the INF and the pitching that convinces me nothing has changed in Ryan's approach from his previous tenure.

      And, there was plenty of money to sign better pitchers than Marquis this year, they just didn't. There was money to have a better bullpen, and they didn't.
      First of all, I don't think I said I expected them to sign anyone for big money. I do think they'll sign a free agent pitcher for reasonably big money this offseason, for a few reasons.

      1) Our starting pitching is notably weak, and I don't think it is possible to fill from within in 2013. Perhaps Hendriks and Gibson (assuming a full recovery) are in the rotation in 2013. Perhaps they offer Pavano a one year deal with a club option. Blackburn, assuming he is healthy makes 4. I think they grab a FA to round out the 5th spot (not the 5th starter).

      2) The FA market should have more quality starters this coming offseason compared to last offseason. If you took the FA's from last offseason and listed the (very subjective) top 10, you might have found: Kuroda, Buehrle, Wilson, Bedard, Colon, Harang, Tomko, Francis, Willis, and our very own Marquis. If you look at potential FA's for this coming offseason, you have these guys: Cain, Greinke, Hamels, Lewis, Marcum, McCarthy, Anibel Sanchez - there are others as well with options that may or may not be used: De La Rosa, Floyd, Haren, Hudson, Myers, Ervin Santana, Shields, and others. Other than the Kuroda, Buehrle, and Wilson, I'd much rather take ANY of this coming offseason's potential FA's over those from this last offseason's. There are other FA starters too for next year that would be equivalent or better than those from this last offseason (Correia, Guthrie, Lowe, Matsuzaka, etc.). It is a good market for buyers this coming offseason. I think the Twins will be in on it. Atypical from their previous ways, but I think they are in an atypical situation as far as the arms go. I don't think they'll be offering any 5-6 year deals, but a 3-4 year deal is not far-fetched for the higher end guys on this list (I don't think).

      I think the plan right now has to be for 2014 and 2015, and the anchor arm for those teams should be available this offseason. Maybe you're right and they don't do anything. But I think they will.
    1. TwinVike61's Avatar
      TwinVike61 -
      Quote Originally Posted by mike wants wins View Post
      Willingham is their largest FA contract ever. They have never traded for or signed a big time, legit player, in his prime earning years to a bigger contract than that, and that's the only 1 I can even think of. Why would you expect them to sign a legit MLB starter for big money next year, given over 40 years of history suggesting otherwise? Does anyone think that is Terry Ryan's approach?
      Before they signed Mauer for 8 years $180M the Twins had never signed anyone to a long-term, high dollar contract...but then they did. So just because they haven't signed a big FA starter in the past doesn't mean they won't.
    1. whydidnt's Avatar
      whydidnt -
      Quote Originally Posted by scottz View Post

      1) Our starting pitching is notably weak, and I don't think it is possible to fill from within in 2013. Perhaps Hendriks and Gibson (assuming a full recovery) are in the rotation in 2013. Perhaps they offer Pavano a one year deal with a club option. Blackburn, assuming he is healthy makes 4. I think they grab a FA to round out the 5th spot (not the 5th starter).

      I think the plan right now has to be for 2014 and 2015, and the anchor arm for those teams should be available this offseason. Maybe you're right and they don't do anything. But I think they will.
      I think you're right that the starting rotation is weak and they should address it from a very strong (as of now) free agent class. However, Terry Ryan indicated before the season began that he thought our starters were the strength of the team. If he felt that way going into 2012, I'm not sure he'll change his mind going into 2013. I hope I'm wrong, but how the Twins evaluate pitchers is pretty different than how many of us do and it really wouldn't be surprising to see them go bottom fishing for another guy like Marquis again. One thing to keep in mind that the fact there are going to be a large number of FAs mean that those teams are also going to have rotation spots to fill, so the market might not be as great as we think since there will also be more buyers.
©2014 TwinsCentric, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
Interested in advertising with Twins Daily? Click here.