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An early look at the 2018 payroll

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#1 DocBauer

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Posted 05 October 2017 - 10:14 PM

We will spend the next four plus months examing the roster, moves we'd like to see, moves that are actually made, etc. But I thought an early look at the 2018 payroll situation was warranted at this point.

From what I can gather, the Twins opening day payroll ranked 22nd in MLB at $108+. The top payroll, opening day, belonged to the Dodgers at just over $242M. The bottom team was the Brewers at just over $63M. The Royals were dead center at 15 with just shy of $141M. Now, there really is no true mean when you have discrepancies for teams in huge market areas and 30 teams to discuss and debate. And I think we're all educated enough to understand the Twins are really not a "small" market team, via population base, but TV and radio revenue make them a mid market team. Not unlike the Royals, though we know they were rather "all in" with their payroll this season. And we know that with a mostly young team, growing and developing, the Twins won't be "all in" next season.

But we also know between Mauer, Hughes and Santana, there will be additional money coming off the books after 2018, even if there are extensions or re-signings. (Mauer would be less, Dozier more, Santana a question, and Hughes gone). But let us focus on 2018 for now. (I'm uncertain if we still owe Nolasco an additional $4M for 2018 so I'm not going to deduct it for now).

With Perkins riding off in to the sunset, Santiago gone, Kintzler removed, and the expected loss of Belisle and Giminez, the Twins will cut approximately $19.5M in payroll from opening day 2017. That leaves an adjusted total of approximately of just shy of $90M.

Now, there will be some raises. And if I'm not mistaken, Dozier may receive a bump in his final contractual year. More than likely, Escobar and Gibson will be retained. Even still, I doubt we see a combined increase of more than $5M, and that about doubles each of their 2017 salaries. So even with bumps, we are less than $100M heading in to the off season.

I really don't want this to turn in to the classic "the Pohlad's are cheap" debate. I'm trying to look at things from a realistic standpoint from need vs logical payroll expectation vs MLB average numbers. (Though additional payroll cuts in 2018 play a part).

What should we realistically expect? What is a realistic payroll for 2018? What would you do with it?
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#2 Kwak

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Posted 05 October 2017 - 10:44 PM

Ah, the $64,000 question. I think Dozier gets a $3MM raise per his contract. Then there are those in arbitration--I believe all will be made an offer triggering a settlement. What level should the owners spend? It depends on what type of team they want on the field next year. Judging from the comments of most TD posters, they were very pleased with the season's result--so I don't expect much change.The ~$20MM coming off of the books will be spent on raises to present players and an offer for 2 or 3 pitchers.I'm guessing no more than a $5MM increase from last year--and that $5MM may be kept in reserve for mid-season acquisition(s). I expect a contract movement of people from the minors to the Twins based on a lack of performance and rotation of relief pitchers due to fatigue.

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#3 yarnivek1972

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Posted 06 October 2017 - 04:10 AM

Point of order: Phil Hughes is signed for $13.2 mil in 2019 as well.

#4 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 06 October 2017 - 04:18 AM

I will be disappointed if the payroll comes in under $120m on Opening Day.

They're shedding close to $20m in contracts and will give back about $8-10m of that in pay increases.

That leaves them in the $98-100m range, giving them ~$20m in money to pick up players this offseason.

The team saw an attendance bump of about 1300 people per game this season. Next season, it should be much larger. They should have the flexibility to add more than $5m to payroll.
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#5 beckmt

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Posted 06 October 2017 - 05:23 AM

I also am looking for an increase in payroll.With us shedding between $45 and $65 million after next year, depending on the health of Hughes and a possible buyout settlement if he does not pitch this year, we should look at adding payroll. 

My guess, we sign a couple better relievers for 2 - 3 years between $5 - $10 million a year.Maybe take a cheap flyer on a rebound starter(do not see any starters on the list I would think would be bargins(best of lot Lynn, etc will get $15 - $20 million a year), they are not worth it.Brett Anderson would be by best play and when healthy he is good.  

Outside of that see what we have, use the shuttle and hope by midyear one of Gonsalves or Romero has made it into the rotation.And a few others have taken a step forward. 

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#6 Vanimal46

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Posted 06 October 2017 - 07:46 AM

Gunnarthor put together a nice spreadsheet concerning the 2018 payroll.

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#7 ashburyjohn

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Posted 06 October 2017 - 08:30 AM

Gunnarthor put together a nice spreadsheet concerning the 2018 payroll.

He actually just provided a link to something Baseball Prospectus took over maintenance of, several years ago. Which doesn't make it any less useful of course. Credit where credit's due.

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#8 Doomtints

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Posted 06 October 2017 - 09:17 AM

 

Gunnarthor put together a nice spreadsheet concerning the 2018 payroll.

 

This workbook misses the $1M that will go to Nolasco next yr.  Not a huge deal, I suppose.


#9 Doomtints

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Posted 06 October 2017 - 09:24 AM

 

I will be disappointed if the payroll comes in under $120m on Opening Day.

They're shedding close to $20m in contracts and will give back about $8-10m of that in pay increases.

That leaves them in the $98-100m range, giving them ~$20m in money to pick up players this offseason.

The team saw an attendance bump of about 1300 people per game this season. Next season, it should be much larger. They should have the flexibility to add more than $5m to payroll.

 

I would think the Twins could at least be at league average for payroll for the immediate future. This is $136M this year and should inch up next year. 


#10 goulik

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Posted 07 October 2017 - 12:18 PM

I will be disappointed if the payroll comes in under $120m on Opening Day.
They're shedding close to $20m in contracts and will give back about $8-10m of that in pay increases.
That leaves them in the $98-100m range, giving them ~$20m in money to pick up players this offseason.
The team saw an attendance bump of about 1300 people per game this season. Next season, it should be much larger. They should have the flexibility to add more than $5m to payroll.

You stole my response to the OP... I think 120 million is a number the pohlads are comfortable with so the big question is "is there anyone worth acquiring to spend that 20+ million on?" Year after year I see the lists of free agent starting pitchers and say to myself, they are not worth it. Ditto with this years list. I hope there is some type of big trade to bring in a front line starter and then spend up to that 120 mark on relievers and filling any potential holes created by said trade.

Edited by goulik, 07 October 2017 - 12:20 PM.

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#11 Major Leauge Ready

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Posted 07 October 2017 - 12:28 PM

 

You stole my response to the OP... I think 120 million is a number the pohlads are comfortable with so the big question is "is there anyone worth acquiring to spend that 20+ million on?" Year after year I see the lists of free agent starting pitchers and say to myself, they are not worth it. Ditto with this years list. I hope there is some type of big trade to bring in a front line starter and then spend up to that 120 mark on relievers and filling any potential holes created by said trade.

 

This link is their estimated 40-man payroll by Baseball Reference.According to them they are already at $114M w/o options and $120M w/options.  

https://baseball-ref...contracts.shtml

 

Edited by Major Leauge Ready, 07 October 2017 - 12:30 PM.


#12 spinowner

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Posted 07 October 2017 - 01:57 PM

One thing not mentioned so far is whether and when to extend our emerging young players. I think most will agree that right now is too early for this but if any of them perform very well next year it's something that Falvine and Pohlad must consider. The impact on 2018 would be zero unless it occurred during the season and even then it would probably be minimal, but control of the 2018 payroll would free up more money for this. Consider, in no particular order, Berrios, Sano, Polanco, Rosario, Buxton and Kepler. Rosario is the oldest at 26. If we do it too soon we could wind up with an untradeable underperforming player. If we wait too long we could wind up like the Royals and lose a valuable core. I think we all envision the powerhouse team we would have if all these players continue to improve, and I hope a way can be found to retain all of them, or at least come out ahead on any trades involving any of them.

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#13 spinowner

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Posted 07 October 2017 - 02:14 PM

Falvine and Pohlad also have to consider organization-wide expenses. There is still much work to be done to rebuild what I call the infrastructure of this organization, meaning scouting and player development. I don't know what expenses will be incurred during this process but it's not going to cost less than what has been spent in past regimes. I would argue that even though the dollar amount of infrastructure costs will presumably be lower than major league payroll those matters may be as high a priority or maybe even a higher priority than the 2018 payroll. I believe that the front office has a goal of having a major league team that can contend for a world championship every year, a difficult but attainable goal, especially for a mid-market budget. It's a difficult balancing act to allocate resources properly but we must not lose sight of that goal.

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#14 yarnivek1972

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Posted 07 October 2017 - 02:40 PM

This link is their estimated 40-man payroll by Baseball Reference. According to them they are already at $114M w/o options and $120M w/options.
https://baseball-ref...contracts.shtml


They are estimating that the arbitration eligible players will get over $36 mil. That seems WAY high. Even if Gibson is back, I figure he and Escobar at about $10 mil combined at MOST. Pressly may not be back. If he is, I’d speculate under $ 2 mil. Same with Giminez, but I would guess maybe $1.25 mil for him. If Recker is on the MLB roster, Giminez won’t be. Adrianza maybe $1 mil, $1.25 tops. May would be lucky to get $800 K. Grossman might cash in a little, but even he I don’t see higher than $1.5 mil. Tonkin will not be tendered.

So, what B-R calculates at $36 mil, I figure $ 17 mil. And that’s if Gibson, Pressly and Giminez are ALL back. I don’t know where they are getting their arbitration figures, but they are way out of whack IMO.
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#15 drjim

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Posted 07 October 2017 - 02:41 PM

This link is their estimated 40-man payroll by Baseball Reference. According to them they are already at $114M w/o options and $120M w/options.
https://baseball-ref...contracts.shtml


Eyeballing it the arb prediction there seems quite high. And st least 3 players listed won't be tendered.
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#16 yarnivek1972

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Posted 07 October 2017 - 04:54 PM

Eyeballing it the arb prediction there seems quite high. And st least 3 players listed won't be tendered.


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#17 yarnivek1972

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Posted 07 October 2017 - 06:32 PM

Falvine and Pohlad also have to consider organization-wide expenses. There is still much work to be done to rebuild what I call the infrastructure of this organization, meaning scouting and player development. I don't know what expenses will be incurred during this process but it's not going to cost less than what has been spent in past regimes. I would argue that even though the dollar amount of infrastructure costs will presumably be lower than major league payroll those matters may be as high a priority or maybe even a higher priority than the 2018 payroll. I believe that the front office has a goal of having a major league team that can contend for a world championship every year, a difficult but attainable goal, especially for a mid-market budget. It's a difficult balancing act to allocate resources properly but we must not lose sight of that goal.


St. Louis is right there every year on a mid market budget. Cleveland.

#18 snepp

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Posted 07 October 2017 - 06:33 PM

Eyeballing it the arb prediction there seems quite high. And st least 3 players listed won't be tendered.

 
Well it's not really a prediction (and I'm not really responding to you, just to the thread in general). B-Ref on that summary just uses flat figures for every player based upon their service time and the league averages over the prior three seasons. So a 2nd year stud arb player would account for the same figure as a minor league journeyman with the same amount of service.
 
 

$792.8k for pre-arbitration, $1.23M for 1st-year arb, $2.73M for 2nd-year-arb, $4.04M for 3rd-year-arb, $5M for 4th-year-arb.

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#19 spinowner

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Posted 07 October 2017 - 06:34 PM

 

St. Louis is right there every year on a mid market budget. Cleveland.

Yes. It can be done.

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#20 drjim

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Posted 07 October 2017 - 06:46 PM


Well it's not really a prediction (and I'm not really responding to you, just to the thread in general). B-Ref on that summary just uses flat figures for every player based upon their service time and the league averages over the prior three seasons. So a 2nd year stud arb player would account for the same figure as a minor league journeyman with the same amount of service.



Thanks for the context, I hadn't dug into how they got the numbers. Does make me think that even with a pretty conservative payroll (~120 mil) they'll have some money to play with. Could see them pushing it a little if the right guys are available.
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