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Are the Twins really paying $100+ million for this mess?

$100 million payroll
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#1 JB_Iowa

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Posted 04 May 2012 - 07:10 AM

I was a little surprised to read this blurb last night in a Pioneer Press article by John Shipley:

“He [Terry Ryan] lowered the team's payroll by about $15 million, but the Twins are still spending in excess of $100 million for this team, which looked solid coming out of spring training, even as right-hander Scott Baker inched closer to what wound up being season-ending Tommy John surgery.”

I’ve been operating under the assumption that the opening day payroll was at about $94 million based on Strib reports, etc. Is the payroll for this disaster really over $100 million now?

Here are the numbers I found:

[TABLE="width: 187"]
[TR]
[TD="width: 186, bgcolor: transparent"]Joe Mauer
[/TD]
[TD="width: 64, bgcolor: transparent, align: right"]23
[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD="bgcolor: transparent"]Ryan Doumit
[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: transparent, align: right"]3
[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD="bgcolor: transparent"]Drew Butera
[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: transparent, align: right"]0.51
[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD="bgcolor: transparent"]Justin Morneau
[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: transparent, align: right"]14
[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD="bgcolor: transparent"]Chris Parmelee
[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: transparent, align: right"]0.48
[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD="bgcolor: transparent"]Alexi Casilla
[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: transparent, align: right"]1.3825
[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD="bgcolor: transparent"]Jamey Carroll
[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: transparent, align: right"]2.75
[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD="bgcolor: transparent"]Danny Valencia
[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: transparent, align: right"]0.515
[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD="bgcolor: transparent"]Josh Willingtham
[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: transparent, align: right"]7
[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD="bgcolor: transparent"]Denard Span
[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: transparent, align: right"]3
[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD="bgcolor: transparent"]Trevor Plouffe
[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: transparent, align: right"]0.485
[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD="bgcolor: transparent"]Clete Thomas
[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: transparent, align: right"]0.481
[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD="bgcolor: transparent"]Carl Pavano
[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: transparent, align: right"]8.5
[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD="bgcolor: transparent"]Francisco Liriano
[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: transparent, align: right"]5.5
[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD="bgcolor: transparent"]Jason Marquis
[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: transparent, align: right"]3
[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD="bgcolor: transparent"]Nick Blackburn
[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: transparent, align: right"]4.75
[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD="bgcolor: transparent"]Liam Hendriks
[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: transparent, align: right"]0.48
[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD="bgcolor: transparent"]Matt Capps
[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: transparent, align: right"]4.75
[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD="bgcolor: transparent"]Glen Perkins
[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: transparent, align: right"]1.55
[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD="bgcolor: transparent"]Brian Duensing
[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: transparent, align: right"]0.515
[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD="bgcolor: transparent"]Jared Burton
[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: transparent, align: right"]0.75
[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD="bgcolor: transparent"]Alex Burnett
[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: transparent, align: right"]0.49
[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD="bgcolor: transparent"]Jeff Gray
[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: transparent, align: right"]0.485
[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD="bgcolor: transparent"]Anthony Swarzak
[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: transparent, align: right"]0.4875
[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD="bgcolor: transparent"]Matt Maloney
[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: transparent, align: right"]0.4825
[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD="bgcolor: transparent"][/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: transparent, align: right"]88.3435
[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD="bgcolor: transparent"][/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: transparent"][/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD="bgcolor: transparent"]Scott Baker
[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: transparent, align: right"]6.5
[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD="bgcolor: transparent"]Joel Zumaya
[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: transparent, align: right"]0.85
[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD="bgcolor: transparent"]Tsuyoshi Nishioka
[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: transparent, align: right"]3
[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD="bgcolor: transparent"]Sean Burroughs
[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: transparent, align: right"]0.525
[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD="bgcolor: transparent"]Ben Revere
[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: transparent, align: right"]0.4925
[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD="bgcolor: transparent"][/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: transparent, align: right"]11.3675
[/TD]
[/TR]
[/TABLE]


Even if I add up all of them, I come to not quite $100 million. Plus, I assume there may be some insurance on Scott Baker. I'm also not sure if it is fair to include the Nishioka pay because presumably your minor leaguers always have some cost.

Anybody know where Shipley is getting "over 100 million" from? Am I missing somebody os some transaction?

#2 Seth Stohs

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Posted 04 May 2012 - 07:18 AM

If I recall, the $94 million was the opening day roster salaries... it didn't include Nishioka (who is still going to get $3 million this year), and it didn't include Marquis ($3 million) because he was optioned to New Britain to start the season (as opposed to Scott Baker who was on the major league disabled list and would be counted). Mainly I think it's just some rounding. Your list above appears to show about $99.7 million, which is pretty close to $100 million.

#3 JB_Iowa

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Posted 04 May 2012 - 07:24 AM

Seth, I guess my question really comes down to comparing apples to apples and that is what I'm having a hard time getting a handle on. The cost of last year's roster vs. this year's roster Is this a matter of semantics because Nishioka signed a Major League contract? He hasn't appeared in the Majors this year and all those other minor leaguers get paid something (peanuts though it may be) so is it right to include his $3 million? I'm just really trying to get a handle on where the numbers are coming from and in honestly comparing them to 2011 because it seems like the cost issue comes up in threads from time to time.

#4 BD57

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Posted 04 May 2012 - 07:29 AM

Based on those numbers, it looks like "more than" should have been "around" ... something a fan might say to amplify his disgust with the product on the field. Count me in the "surprised how bad this crew has been" column. Looking back, I had more confidence in the starting pitching than their track records deserved.

#5 Teflon

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Posted 04 May 2012 - 08:21 AM

I get a -$12.25M change comparing rosters from 2011 ($112.7M) to 2012 ($100.3M) when I do the math. -$40.4M for players on 2011 MLB payroll not on 2012: (Nathan, Cuddyer, Delmon Young, Kubel, Thome, Slowey, Repko, Mijares, Dusty Hughes, Tolbert, Manship) -$3.65M for smaller salaries from 2011 to 2012 (Morneau $15M to $14M, Capps $7.15M to $4.5M) +$8.5M for larger salaries from 2011 to 2012 (Span, Blackburn, Liriano, Baker, Perkins, Casilla, Pavano, Valencia, Duensing) +$23.3M for players on 2012 MLB payroll not on 2011 (Willingham, Doumit, Marquis, Carrol, Zumaya, Burton, Burroughs, Revere, Burnett, Slama, Luke Hughes, Plouffe, Maloney, Clete Thomas, Hendriks, Parmelee, Waldrop) That's $44.05M removed from the payroll from last year and $31.8M added for a net change of -$12.25M Another way to look at is - there are 14 carryover players from 2011 making $77.1M this year as opposed to $72.3M last year. In 2011, the rest of the roster (since jettisoned) cost $40.4M. Their replacements this year cost $23.2M.

#6 gunnarthor

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Posted 04 May 2012 - 08:25 AM

Here's the Cot's baseball contract breakdown: https://docs.google....QXc&output=html
He's pretty reliable.

#7 roger

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Posted 04 May 2012 - 08:29 AM

Seth, I guess my question really comes down to comparing apples to apples and that is what I'm having a hard time getting a handle on.

The cost of last year's roster vs. this year's roster

Is this a matter of semantics because Nishioka signed a Major League contract? He hasn't appeared in the Majors this year and all those other minor leaguers get paid something (peanuts though it may be) so is it right to include his $3 million?

I'm just really trying to get a handle on where the numbers are coming from and in honestly comparing them to 2011 because it seems like the cost issue comes up in threads from time to time.


Do the Twins have to write the checks to Nishi? The answer is yes, so it must be included.

#8 mike wants wins

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Posted 04 May 2012 - 08:42 AM

While the average salary for MLB went up by $9MM, according to Bonnes....so it's like a $21MM cut...or so....
Lighten up Francis....

#9 JB_Iowa

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Posted 04 May 2012 - 11:19 AM

Thanks for the responses. I especially appreciate your analysis, Teflon. You missed my point, Roger. Yes, the Twins have to pay Nishi BUT he is not on the major league roster. They have a lot of other minor leaguers that they are paying as well (although not as much) and THEIR salaries aren't included so I'm not sure why you would include Nishioka's. The reason that the figure surprised me when it was thrown out there in Shipley's article was that this has often been characterized as a $94 million team -- a drop of about $18 million from last year -- with plenty of angst from a variety of writers. While I understood that Hendriks' salary would have an impact as a replacement for Baker and that they are eating Zumaya's salary, that would not account for $6 million. Teflon's analysis makes the most sense on 1st read. The other article on the PP that touched on payroll was Tom Powers' -- that they need to spend better not necessarily more. While that is true, I still find it interesting that the drop from 2011 may not be as much as we first beieved.

#10 Thrylos

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Posted 04 May 2012 - 11:47 AM

, I still find it interesting that the drop from 2011 may not be as much as we first beieved.


It's actually even smaller if you have to consider that the Indians paid about 1/3 of Thome's contract ~$1M and the Tigers about 1/3 of Young's contract ~$1.6M. Cot's has 2011 Starting payroll at $113.2 M and the Starting 2012 Payroll at $100.4 M. The difference is 12.8 M; subtract Thome and Young and it is closer to $10 M.

Another thing: Based on previous (2010) conversations, I am fairly certain that Morneau's contract is insured. Details for those things are not available and the Twins have not leaked any other than the fact that his contact is insured. So subtract a bit more from that $10 M and the difference between 2011 and 2012 is really within the standard deviation area.

Again, even more importantly, is not the "how much" but the "how" money is being spent... Arguably, the 2013 team could spend $10-30 million less than the 2012 team and have a better product on the field (lots of contracts expire)
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#11 CDog

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Posted 04 May 2012 - 12:06 PM

Another thing: Based on previous (2010) conversations, I am fairly certain that Morneau's contract is insured. Details for those things are not available and the Twins have not leaked any other than the fact that his contact is insured.


I'm sure it's probably case by case to some extent, but I thought either with Morneau's or Nathan's injury that someone pointed out (good specific citation, I know) that they were often insured year-by-year, though. So while Morneau's 2010 may have been (likely was), it's possible that they weren't able to do beyond that. Again...just to reiterate...these are half-baked thoughts and hearsay pretty much, but that was the impression I was under.