Since 2012 Twins Daily has had the opportunity to sit down with Twins GM Terry Ryan and discuss the impending offseason. One of the biggest questions has been regarding the team’s payroll.
In the 2013 Offseason Handbook, John Bonnes sat with Ryan.
Bonnes: You talked a little bit about limitations in terms of dollars. Do you know what your limitations are in terms of dollars this year?
Ryan: I don’t consider that a limitation.
Bonnes: OK, but you have a budget…
Ryan: But it’s always fluid. It’s never a concrete figure with the Pohlads. It’s not anything that’s a limitation. Just look at the teams still playing here [Note: The 2012 postseason included ATL, STL, WSN, CIN, SF, BAL, TEX, DET, NYY and OAK]. There are a couple well above where we are at and there’s about four or five that are well below where we’re at.
Bonnes: There’s a lot of things that determine success for an organization, there’s no question.
Ryan: It’s not payroll, usually. I don’t know exactly what Detroit is [NOTE: approximately $118M according to B-R.com], but they are fairly stiff. Cardinals are, what, $112 or so [NOTE: approximately $111M]?
Bonnes: In your division, the White Sox have been generally about $100 million. Detroit has been about $120…
Ryan: It’s never been a detriment to us to field what we thought was a competitive club. This year it was not a detriment. Two years ago we had a $113 million payroll and it didn’t work.
For the 2014 Offseason Handbook, I had the opportunity to talk with Ryan and our discussion on the payroll situation went like this:
Hageman: Last question, has your payroll budget be set for this year?
Ryan: I’ve got a pretty good idea where it’s at. It’s very reasonable to get things done.
Hageman: How big of a jump is it from where it is now? [NOTE: The 2013 Twins finished with an approximate payroll of $56M according to B-R.com]
Ryan: You don’t even know what our payroll is now.
Hageman: Well, the estimation at the end of the year was around 55 or 56 million.
Ryan: You counting [Nick] Blackburn?
Hageman: Probably not, no. [Note: Blackburn was owed $5.5M bringing the estimated payroll to $60-$61M.]
Ryan: OK, so you don’t know. I do so we’ll be OK.
Hageman: Triple digits OK?
Ryan: We’ll be OK, I’m not going to give you any words.
Hageman: I know.
Ryan: Don’t worry about our payroll.
Hageman: Our readers are worried about things like that.
Ryan: Why? I have told publicly I don’t know how many times: our payroll is way more than Oakland, way more than Cleveland, way more than Tampa Bay. Those teams are in the postseason. Payroll is not an excuse for success, it’s not an excuse for failure. We have had many better years in Metrodome with a payroll that’s been much less than it is today. Do people want me to use payroll as an excuse?
Naturally, with a significant investment from the taxpayers of Hennepin County contributing to finance the new stadium, fans want to know that the money generated by the fancy digs is getting spent on the on-field product. This, of course, has led to a robust debate and discussion.
***If you want to revisit the interviews from 2013 and 2014, you can download the Offseason Handbooks for FREE at the links above. Be sure to download a FREE SAMPLE of this year’s Offseason Handbook or PREORDER IT NOW for $3.99 until the end of the World Series***