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Article: A Snapshot of Twins Payroll

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#1 Nick Nelson

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Posted 20 January 2014 - 10:06 AM

You can view the page at http://www.twinsdail...a-Twins-Payroll

#2 Dantes929

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Posted 20 January 2014 - 10:35 AM

I agree with almost all of it. I like building a team rather than buying one and I like seeing the team going in the right direction. The issue I have is with this sentence, "almost every position on the field is either occupied by a promising young talent or will be soon enough". The most glairing position lacking in this description is shortstop. I have been wrong before but I don't see Florimon as the short term, mid term or long term answer. There is a free agent out there that would fit the short and midterm piece and probably without breaking the budget, now or later. Stephen Drew would be an improvement that would solidify the infield.

#3 OldManWinter

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Posted 20 January 2014 - 10:37 AM

Eighty five million dollars is a whole lot of dough, any way you look at it. I do not require they spend big but I hope they spend smart.

#4 mike wants wins

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Posted 20 January 2014 - 10:40 AM

Why would they add players next year if "pretty much every position is either occupied by a promising young talent or will be soon enough"?

Why sign Pelfrey if you are not trying to contend this year? Doesn't he just block Gibson or Worley or someone else?

#5 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 20 January 2014 - 10:43 AM

Why sign Pelfrey if you are not trying to contend this year? Doesn't he just block Gibson or Worley or someone else?


Only if you believe them to be MLB talent.

I don't mind the rotation "situation" right now... The past three years, the Twins have lacked both quality and depth in the rotation. This offseason, Ryan did a decent job of shoring up both the talent and depth deficit.

Worley and Gibson will get their shots some time this season.

#6 tobi0040

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Posted 20 January 2014 - 10:47 AM

I agree with almost all of it. I like building a team rather than buying one and I like seeing the team going in the right direction. The issue I have is with this sentence, "almost every position on the field is either occupied by a promising young talent or will be soon enough". The most glairing position lacking in this description is shortstop. I have been wrong before but I don't see Florimon as the short term, mid term or long term answer. There is a free agent out there that would fit the short and midterm piece and probably without breaking the budget, now or later. Stephen Drew would be an improvement that would solidify the infield.


I agree. It is dissapointing to see payroll basically where it was last year with all this excess revenue from the new TV deal, Target field, and the all star game. SS and DH are two positions where signing a good player could add 2-3 wins for each position in my opinion (and not block prospects). After moving Doumit, the only real DH option we have is Kubel, who had a .610 OPS last year. We basically made no financial investment there and are hoping he returns to form. If you look hard enough, you can find an aging corner OF or 1B that can convert to DH and hit for you without a huge investment. Think Vlad Guerrero or Frank Thomas a few years ago.

Edited by tobi0040, 20 January 2014 - 10:53 AM.


#7 Nick Nelson

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Posted 20 January 2014 - 10:49 AM

The most glairing position lacking in this description is shortstop. I have been wrong before but I don't see Florimon as the short term, mid term or long term answer. There is a free agent out there that would fit the short and midterm piece and probably without breaking the budget, now or later. Stephen Drew would be an improvement that would solidify the infield.

Shortstop is the one position that lacks a real clear plan, but is Drew (the only quality free agent available at the position) enough of an upgrade to justify the money and draft pick? You could argue yes, but there's a pretty good argument for no.

Moreover, I think the Twins view Danny Santana right now as next in line at short, and he'll probably be in Triple-A this year.

Why would they add players next year if "pretty much every position is either occupied by a promising young talent or will be soon enough"?

They'll know a lot more about several of these young players a year from now. And they will hopefully be in better position to make meaningful impact additions after what we can only hope is an improved season.

#8 DocBauer

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Posted 20 January 2014 - 10:53 AM

Worley and Gibson will get their shots some time this season.

And hopefully/probably Meyer at some point as well, even if a short term, pushing innings limit but getting aquainted with the major leagues and auditioning for next season, term.

May a possibility, but Meyer probably more of a sure thing for this season. Big, big year for May. Every previous season in his milb career he's shown improvement when repeating a season, or a partial season. Even last year, while the improvements might have been minimal, there was still improvement. And if reports are correct, he pitched his best at the end of the year, which is a very positive sign I feel.

#9 tobi0040

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Posted 20 January 2014 - 11:09 AM

Moreover, I think the Twins view Danny Santana right now as next in line at short, and he'll probably be in Triple-A this year.
[/COLOR]


I would not hold my breath regarding Danny Santana at SS. Terry Ryan mentioned him as a dark horse candidate this year, but let's look at his defensive numbers:

2011 - 27 errors in 78 games at short
2012 - 18 errors in 85 games at short
2013 - 32 errors in 125 games at short (23 years old)

Terry seems to treasure defense at SS, I don't know if he is going to hand it to a guy with this many errors. At this rate he would have 39 errors in 155 games. His .719 OPS is probably not enough offense to overlook the defense.

Plouffe had fewer errors at SS and was moved. The last major reps he had at SS were:

2009: 26 errors in 111 games
2010: 11 errors in 92 games

Admittedly, Plouffe's range could have been a factor (I am not sure how they compare). But to move the one guy and think the other is the answer at SS seems odd.

http://www.baseball-...id=santan001dan

http://www.baseball-...id=plouff001tre

#10 savvyspy

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Posted 20 January 2014 - 11:14 AM

"I can see the logic in holding off on signing more players to supplement that unit; simply put, almost every position on the field is either occupied by a promising young talent or will be soon enough. Spending big money on stopgaps might make sense for a contender, but not for a team coming off a third straight 90-loss campaign."

This comment grossly over-estimates the talent level of this current roster and minor league system. Besides Arcia there isn't one "promising young talent" on the current roster. I wouldn't spend money on a 3rd baseman or center fielder (Sano, Buxton) but every other position on the diamond could use upgrades. The Twins are probably Bottom 5 at catcher and shortstop and have NOTHING in the minors on the horizon.


And not spending money is exactly how a team loses 90+ games three straight years. Statements like that aren't close to factual. Its just like when teams say, "We don't want to make a trade to make a trade" to justify doing nothing to improve a horrible product. That is just nonsense. Successful organizations (not mater how many 90 loss seasons in a row they've had) improve their team by all available avenues, the draft, free agency, and trades. If the team isn't using all three and management is saying they are trying to win, they are flat out lying to you.

#11 tobi0040

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Posted 20 January 2014 - 11:29 AM

" Successful organizations (not mater how many 90 loss seasons in a row they've had) improve their team by all available avenues, the draft, free agency, and trades. If the team isn't using all three and management is saying they are trying to win, they are flat out lying to you.


I completely agree. I think signing Drew (SS) and Corey Hart (DH) would have brought payroll to $100M. The team would still make money and those two could have been the difference between 74-75 wins and 79-80 wins. Next year we are basically a .500 team and we can sell that along with Sano, Buxton, and Mayer as to why a good free agent would want to sign here.

#12 tellis205

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Posted 20 January 2014 - 11:52 AM

Most of the free agent position player's signed elsewhere for various reasons. That leaves trades as a possible solution. Whenever Ryan calls someone, they always want Sano or Buxton. The one possible chip they had and were willing to part with was Rosario. And we all know what happened there. He won't be a viable prospect again until he proves he's able to stay on the field for an extended period of time. We have players coming up that deserve
a chance. I'm told that Hicks was playing at a high level by the time Rochester entered the playoffs. I'm also told that Worley should not be ignored and written off. He has proven himself in the National League in the past and one year where he was recovering from arm surgery to begin with should not erase him from everyone's memory. Nobody talks about Dozier anymore because he turned a corner last year. Nobody gave him a chance of doing that last year at this time. We have other players that are capable of turning the corner. It costs alot of money to develop players and they shouldn't be thrown away until it's obvious they can't cut it. Alot of position players need 1200-1500 at bats before you can make a decision. How many at bats has Florimon gotten? This is going to be another transition year but it will be more promising because good teams start with pitching. If you don't have pitching, it makes everything that much worse.

#13 Nick Nelson

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Posted 20 January 2014 - 11:52 AM

The Twins are probably Bottom 5 at catcher and shortstop and have NOTHING in the minors on the horizon.

Pinto?? You might not be a believer but saying they have NOTHING on the horizon is way too harsh.

In the OF, you've got Buxton, Arcia, Hicks and possibly Rosario. In the infield, you've got Dozier, Sano, Santana. All those guys are Double-A and above, all cost controlled. None of them are locks to produce (some much less so than others) but I'm fine with waiting a year to see how things shake out before making large investments at any particular position. As I mentioned in the article, they are also leaving themselves equipped to take on salary in a midseason trade if any position emerges as a clear weakness with no palatable internal answer.

And not spending money is exactly how a team loses 90+ games three straight years. Statements like that aren't close to factual.


Statements like what? I fully agree that the lack of spending last year was frustrating, but they ARE spending this year. The final payroll number is far less important to me than how the money is being spent, and I personally like the way it's been spent this winter.

#14 Guest_USAFChief_*

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Posted 20 January 2014 - 12:05 PM


I fully agree that the lack of spending last year was frustrating, but they ARE spending this year. The final payroll number is far less important to me than how the money is being spent, and I personally like the way it's been spent this winter.

Those two statements seem contradictory to me.

For the record, Cots lists the Twins 2013 payroll at $82m. If you are happier with HOW the Twins are spending this year, fine. But they are not spending any more, so I think it's fair for others to continue to be frustrated at the lack
of spending.

I also don't believe there's only $20m left in the Twins "cap" for 2014, and while I may be in the minority, I don't want to watch another 90 loss team while the Twins sit on cash waiting for a "clearer picture" to emerge of their needs. Their needs are obvious, as is the help they can reasonably hope to get internally.

#15 Nick Nelson

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Posted 20 January 2014 - 12:17 PM

I also don't believe there's only $20m left in the Twins "cap" for 2014, and while I may be in the minority, I don't want to watch another 90 loss team while the Twins sit on cash waiting for a "clearer picture" to emerge of their needs. Their needs are obvious, as is the help they can reasonably hope to get internally.


Are their needs really obvious though? Starting pitching was an obvious need and it's already been addressed. You could point to shortstop but solving that problem isn't as easy as just throwing money at it. The rest of the positions need to sort themselves out to some degree.

#16 cmathewson

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Posted 20 January 2014 - 12:23 PM

I would not hold my breath regarding Danny Santana at SS. Terry Ryan mentioned him as a dark horse candidate this year, but let's look at his defensive numbers:

2011 - 27 errors in 78 games at short
2012 - 18 errors in 85 games at short
2013 - 32 errors in 125 games at short (23 years old)

Terry seems to treasure defense at SS, I don't know if he is going to hand it to a guy with this many errors. At this rate he would have 39 errors in 155 games. His .719 OPS is probably not enough offense to overlook the defense.

Plouffe had fewer errors at SS and was moved. The last major reps he had at SS were:

2009: 26 errors in 111 games
2010: 11 errors in 92 games

Admittedly, Plouffe's range could have been a factor (I am not sure how they compare). But to move the one guy and think the other is the answer at SS seems odd.

http://www.baseball-...id=santan001dan

http://www.baseball-...id=plouff001tre


Errors are the most deceiving way to measure defense. They are subject to all kinds of things outside the control of the player, not the least of which is the official scorer. Minor league field conditions also play a part. But, more than anything, guys who commit a lot of errors also end to lead their leagues in chances, as Santana did last year.

To give you a little context, Greg Gagne had 39 errors in AA in in 1982 and 34 errors in 1983. Yet, he's widely regarded as the best defensive shortstop in Twins history.
"If you'da been thinkin' you wouldn't 'a thought that.."

#17 tobi0040

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Posted 20 January 2014 - 12:24 PM

Those two statements seem contradictory to me.

For the record, Cots lists the Twins 2013 payroll at $82m. If you are happier with HOW the Twins are spending this year, fine. But they are not spending any more, so I think it's fair for others to continue to be frustrated at the lack
of spending.

I also don't believe there's only $20m left in the Twins "cap" for 2014, and while I may be in the minority, I don't want to watch another 90 loss team while the Twins sit on cash waiting for a "clearer picture" to emerge of their needs. Their needs are obvious, as is the help they can reasonably hope to get internally.


I agree, the important thing is we are nowhere near where we could be and we are landing in the same spot. MLB recommends 52% of revenue on payroll. Last year the Twins had $216M in revenue and that should go up with the new TV deal and the all-star game. We are at 39% of revenue, $29M short. Keep in mind that many MLB teams go well above this recommendation.

http://www.forbes.co...innesota-twins/

#18 Don't Feed the Greed Guy

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Posted 20 January 2014 - 12:32 PM

Great article.

Some basic rules: Build from within. Draft well. Trade up when you are in contention: with the classic example being the Bobby Kielty for Shannon Stewart trade.

Free Agent signings rarely work. Microwave teams don't go worst to first, with Boston being the exception.

Don't spend $ just to appease the fan base in the offseason.

#19 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 20 January 2014 - 12:38 PM

Are their needs really obvious though? Starting pitching was an obvious need and it's already been addressed. You could point to shortstop but solving that problem isn't as easy as just throwing money at it. The rest of the positions need to sort themselves out to some degree.


To me, this is the most frustrating (and at times, hopeful) part of the organization.

The Twins have way too many bad players on the roster. They have a bunch of quality prospects waiting to come up and play MLB games. Some will fail, some will thrive. The end result is that the Twins end up in a holding pattern while these players sort out their roles on the team.

The one position I don't see some kind of logjam is shortstop, which is why I'm in favor of picking up Drew... But he has his warts as well and isn't a perfect fit for the 2015-2016 Twins.

Meh. It's not as easy as "buy all teh playerz!" if you're trying to compete over a long period of time.

#20 thetank

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Posted 20 January 2014 - 12:40 PM

The Twins have done a bad job lately in developing players. Bruxton and Santo may not make an impact for few years.

#21 tobi0040

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Posted 20 January 2014 - 12:47 PM

Errors are the most deceiving way to measure defense. They are subject to all kinds of things outside the control of the player, not the least of which is the official scorer. Minor league field conditions also play a part. But, more than anything, guys who commit a lot of errors also end to lead their leagues in chances, as Santana did last year.

To give you a little context, Greg Gagne had 39 errors in AA in in 1982 and 34 errors in 1983. Yet, he's widely regarded as the best defensive shortstop in Twins history.


Gagne was 20 years old when he was in AA, Santana was 23.

If you look at fielding percentage, Santana was at .943 last year. Florimon was at .973 in the majors and Stephen Drew was at .984.

I am guessing .943 lands you about last in the MLB, this list only goes to 20. Some may find it unfair to compare a 23 year old to major leaguers, but I am guessing the balls come at the SS a lot faster in the big leagues.

http://espn.go.com/m...n/ss/order/true

#22 h2oface

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Posted 20 January 2014 - 12:49 PM

While starting pitching was addressed, it was addressed by not adding a single top tier pitcher. The 2014 season is built on hopes and dreams, which is about what the last two seasons comprised of. Watching the Twins fade dramatically to end both seasons, it solidifies that hopes and dreams have a hard time making it all the way to the end of the 6 month season.

#23 birdwatcher

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Posted 20 January 2014 - 01:34 PM

I really admire the way the Twins are going about the very difficult task of rebuilding their talent pool. Almost no reasonably sane amount of spending on FA would have catapulted this team into contention during the previous two years. Money was better spent elsewhere. You can argue that you were entitled to more, but the Twins improved their prospect pipeline from middle-of -the -road (many here wrongfully believe it was one of the worst) to one of the elite. They spent to improve their international presence, which is a huge part of the improvement.

The results, as measured by the W-L record for the big club, will probably not be evident for yet another year. The reason I can wait it out is because I think most fans are significantly underestimating how prodigiously talented this farm system is, in both high-end talent and depth. Much of this talent is on the doorstep. So, while I can understand the frustration that more spending on FA hasn't taken place, I agree with Nick's premise here. I love the fact that there is room for further spending when better opportunities arise, better ones than Stephen Drew for sure.

#24 nicksaviking

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Posted 20 January 2014 - 02:00 PM

Gagne was 20 years old when he was in AA, Santana was 23.

If you look at fielding percentage, Santana was at .943 last year. Florimon was at .973 in the majors and Stephen Drew was at .984.

I am guessing .943 lands you about last in the MLB, this list only goes to 20. Some may find it unfair to compare a 23 year old to major leaguers, but I am guessing the balls come at the SS a lot faster in the big leagues.

http://espn.go.com/m...n/ss/order/true


Fielding percentages and errors are largely dismissed as secondary evaluation tools today. I agree that one would think there should still be some correlation between errors and fielding ability, but from all accounts, Santana is a pretty slick fielder.

Alexei Rameriz and Ian Desmond are considered among the better defenders in the league yet were 1st and 3rd in the league in errors last year at the position. Heck, Andrelton Simmons only ranked 9th out of 21 qualified SS in fielding percentage and at the moment he looks like a once-in-a-generation defender.

#25 Guest_USAFChief_*

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Posted 20 January 2014 - 02:21 PM

Great article.

Some basic rules: Build from within. Draft well. Trade up when you are in contention: with the classic example being the Bobby Kielty for Shannon Stewart trade.

Free Agent signings rarely work. Microwave teams don't go worst to first, with Boston being the exception.

Don't spend $ just to appease the fan base in the offseason.


And "build from within" has never worked, in the history of Major League Baseball.

It hasnt even been tried. Find me an example of a team that has been built entirely from within, much less done so and won.

Teams have always supplemented their minor league talent on other ways.

There is room to both wait for the minor leagues to provide the Twins with some of the talent needed to win a World Series and go get some of that talent in other ways.

#26 old nurse

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Posted 20 January 2014 - 02:38 PM

And "build from within" has never worked, in the history of Major League Baseball.

It hasnt even been tried. Find me an example of a team that has been built entirely from within, much less done so and won.

Teams have always supplemented their minor league talent on other ways.

There is room to both wait for the minor leagues to provide the Twins with some of the talent needed to win a World Series and go get some of that talent in other ways.


87 twins, for that matter the 87 Cards, too. Pieces were added by trades, but farm systems were not gutted to do so.

Edited by old nurse, 20 January 2014 - 02:43 PM.


#27 Nick Nelson

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Posted 20 January 2014 - 02:59 PM

Gagne was 20 years old when he was in AA, Santana was 23.

If you look at fielding percentage, Santana was at .943 last year. Florimon was at .973 in the majors and Stephen Drew was at .984.


Florimon had a .939 fielding % in the minors, worse than Santana's .947, and committed 26 errors as a 24-YO at Double-A in 2011. He's now considered one of the best defensive SS in the league.

I'm not fully fold on Santana as a stud defender, but I'm certainly not going to let his minor-league error total play into my perception much.

#28 Don't Feed the Greed Guy

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Posted 20 January 2014 - 03:13 PM

And "build from within" has never worked, in the history of Major League Baseball.

It hasnt even been tried. Find me an example of a team that has been built entirely from within, much less done so and won.


So? What are you saying? Did I say that the Twins should build a team entirely from within?

That's certainly not my claim. Trade when you are in contention. And, in the Twins' case, sign a free agent or two for big $$ if your starting rotation is in complete shambles (like this offseason) or when you need one or two more position players to break out. For instance, signing Drew would be justifiable if the Twins finished just behind Detroit. But not now. No way.

#29 mike wants wins

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Posted 20 January 2014 - 04:05 PM

Why do you care about the twins money so much? Why do you care if they spend too much money on Drew, if it does not stop them from signing anyone next year? They lose thirteen million in payroll after this year, they are way under fifty percent, and no one on this roster is due a raise for years. You might argue giving up a second round pick makes no sense, though you would be wrong, but why do you care about the money at all?
Lighten up Francis....

#30 Guest_USAFChief_*

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Posted 20 January 2014 - 04:30 PM

So? What are you saying? Did I say that the Twins should build a team entirely from within?

That's certainly not my claim. Trade when you are in contention. And, in the Twins' case, sign a free agent or two for big $$ if your starting rotation is in complete shambles (like this offseason) or when you need one or two more position players to break out. For instance, signing Drew would be justifiable if the Twins finished just behind Detroit. But not now. No way.

If you are asking the team to wait until they are in contention before they make a trade, and/or add free agents, then that is precisely what you are saying: build a contender entirely from within, and then​ add to it.