Jump to content

Providing independent coverage of the Minnesota Twins.
Subscribe to Twins Daily Email
Photo

Article: Offseason Blueprint: Hey Big Spenders!

byron buxton jose berrios
  • Please log in to reply
83 replies to this topic

#41 Major Leauge Ready

Major Leauge Ready

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 1,617 posts

Posted 05 November 2018 - 11:42 AM

 

I'd remind you that many of us have in fact worked for or currently work for companies that "manage profitability" and lots of us have probably been involved, maybe even been responsible for those decisions. So while I see where you're coming from and agree that a call for spending can be, um, fanatical, my experience on TD is that a ton of thought goes behind all of this stuff. 

 

If someone has a good argument that it would be imprudent to invest that much, great.

 

I can see the logic in calling for restraint in going from one extreme of payroll flexibility to the other extreme. Or for cautioning against specific contracts. For me, I guess the more cringeworthy risks are those involving desperation trades that set the baseball operation back a season or two. Say howdy to Wilson Ramos and Aaron Hicks for example.

 

There was documentation of financial viability. NONE. The validations was a quote there is no good reason the Twins could not spend $150. If you have had experience, and especially if you have actually been responsible for a $250M P&L you know this would not come close to flying. I have only had 4 positions with full P&L responsibility of $250M or more so that's a small sample but I believe had I presented to the board in this manner, I would have been relieved of my duties within a few days.  

Edited by Major Leauge Ready, 05 November 2018 - 11:42 AM.


#42 Carole Keller

Carole Keller

    It’s all in the eyes of the beholder.

  • Twins Mods
  • 21,416 posts

Posted 05 November 2018 - 11:49 AM

Back on topic. If you want to express that Nick’s blueprint isn’t financially viable, fine, you’ve done so. What I’d like to see from you is YOUR off-season plan. If you think Nick’s here is too ‘pie In the sky’ then tell us specifically what and how you would do things differently and stop the lectures about how you know more than the rest of us on running multi-million dollar businesses. Put your money where your mouth is and give us specifics of who, what and how much, if you were GM. And if you had bothered to read through all the ones posted, by the owners and writers here and other posters, you’d see a wide range of ideas with plenty of fiscal conservativism, and much more to discuss than how we don’t know how to run a big business. This is a message board, not a board room. It’s for sharing and debating ideas. Telling us all we don’t know what we are doing is neither.

Yes, this a moderator warning.
  • Nick Nelson, Han Joelo, birdwatcher and 6 others like this

“May we teach our children that speaking out without the fear of retribution is our culture’s new north star.” ~Laura Dern
 


#43 Mike Sixel

Mike Sixel

    Now living in Oregon

  • Members
  • 27,284 posts

Posted 05 November 2018 - 11:50 AM

It's not a super realistic plan, but then IT WAS CLEAR in the intro that it was meant as a FUN exercise......

 

I'd not sign Grossman under this plan (any plan), thereby making the budget total somewhat more realistic........he just doesn't offer much to this roster. Teams with bad OBP up and down the roster do not benefit from adding one good OB player, they benefit more from adding more power.....plus, he just isn't all that good at much of anything other than hitting a few singles and walking.

 

I'd replace him with Astudillo, who can catch or play 1B or DH about like Grossman. 

 

The following year, one or more of Gibson and Pineda is replaced by a $.5 MM player, making the following year more realistic also, if anyone is actually worried about that in a thread that is about dreaming for fun. Oh, and the 3B needs to be replaced.

 

IF Marwin can legit play 3B, you maybe put him there, and not spend on a 1 year deal....and put Kepler or Wade or Kiriloff in RF (yes, you can actually promote players from AA, but I'd think he is possibly ready by June.....)

  • Carole Keller, birdwatcher, nicksaviking and 3 others like this

I remain hopeful on Buxton and Sano.....but I'd not bet the franchise on them.


#44 NotTorii

NotTorii

    Elizabethton

  • Members
  • 18 posts

Posted 05 November 2018 - 12:13 PM

Fun!I absolutely love this!Sure would return some fan(nies) in the seats!. . .and NOT out of the realm of doable!

 

  • birdwatcher, Vanimal46, caninatl04 and 1 other like this

#45 Winston Smith

Winston Smith

    2 + 2 = 5

  • Members
  • 2,890 posts
  • LocationOceania

Posted 05 November 2018 - 12:42 PM

As an unwritten rule I'd stay away from NL starting pitchers.

  • TheLeviathan, Danchat, Tomj14 and 1 other like this

If you don't know where you are going, you might wind up someplace else.

 

Yogi Berra


#46 Doomtints

Doomtints

    Joe's Shades™

  • Members
  • 2,850 posts

Posted 05 November 2018 - 12:48 PM

 

I'm not sure why you're acting like a ~$140M payroll is some absurd notion; it'd be 53% of the 2017 revenue total you listed, and MN supposedly aims to invest 51% of revenue back into player spending.

 

I feel like the 51% thing was said ten years ago and when Big Pohlad was still running the team. Has this been said since then?

I don't know what the operational costs for the team are, but the Twins organization has a LOT of employees. Only the Twins could say if 51% is sustainable for them.

 

But ... employee wages are 100% tax deductible ... what is the tax burden for professional sports teams? I'm sure the Twins are smart enough to pay at least what their tax burden is in wages. If not...ugh.

 

The younger Pohlad complained a bit about being harassed by the IRS after his father's death. One thing to note is that if you pay very low wages, the IRS will harass you! I worked at a company where the owner was taking in 88% profit (insane!) and we kept getting letters from the IRS wanting to prove we were paying such low wages to our workers. The wage audits came in every quarter, the IRS was never satisfied. They were clearly wanting to change the owner's behavior (he sold the company instead). The audits weren't a burden on him anyway, it was other people who had to do them....

Edited by Doomtints, 05 November 2018 - 12:58 PM.


#47 Major Leauge Ready

Major Leauge Ready

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 1,617 posts

Posted 05 November 2018 - 01:14 PM

 

There have been a number of years past in which the organization underspent significantly, thereby padding its retained earnings column. And even when the profit margin has been less than ideal, they reaped a return on investment in the form of "unrecognized" capital gains, i.e. an increase in franchise value. So I think it's fair for fans to hope the organization takes a longer view backwards and forwards when these investment decisions are made, and I very much believe they do.

 

They have aggressively spent over the past two years, but on infrastructure and non-player talent. OMO, this has been both prudent and foresighted. But now it's time to invest in specific (MLB) player talent. I don't know the details, but have observed enough of the Pohlad Companies operating philosophies and strategies in their other businesses to believe that they continue to adhere to certain disciplines and business guidelines, and given the publicly-disclosed revenue numbers, it doesn't seem like a $150M number is unrealistic, ESPECIALLY because it's not merely an expense but an investment that can be expected to generate immediate revenues.

 

And therefore, I'm birdwatcher, and I approve this message.

 

You have provided absolutely no evidence of what level of profit would be produced with $150M payroll for the 25 man roster yet you offer an opinion on viability. All of the data is readily available but you have produced no facts, instead uninformed speculation. Don't try this in the real world. Also, try going into your CEOs office and telling them they should give everybody raises this year to the point of the company being at B/E because they had good profits last year.

 

Let's look at a different way. If a large portion of your income was bonus based would you work for free the year following a great year? 

 

Having said this ... if you actually take the time to look through MLB revenue and profit estimates, it does appear teams spend all the way to B/E levels when they truly have a good shot at going deep in the playoffs but within reason. Houston, was the most team in the league when they absolutely sucked. As I recall, their total payroll was under $40M one year. According the report I listed previously, several teams made between 80-100M. Yet, you don't see these teams increasing their payroll by $75M, do we?


#48 Tomj14

Tomj14

    Chattanooga Lookouts

  • Members
  • 555 posts

Posted 05 November 2018 - 01:23 PM

Houston Payroll
2018 - $160.04M
2017 - $124,343,900
2016 - $69,064,200
2015 - $70,910,100
2014 - $44,544,174
2013 - $22,062,600

  • birdwatcher, Doomtints and caninatl04 like this

#49 diehardtwinsfan

diehardtwinsfan

    G.O.A.T.

  • Twins Mods
  • 12,547 posts
  • Locationthe charred ruins of BYTO

Posted 05 November 2018 - 01:39 PM

Extending Buxton... that's a bit of a risk. I think you're right though in that we need to lock up some of the core guys. Rosario should be on the list. After this season, I'm not sure what to think of Buxton and Sano. Guess you have to be a big believer in them both to do it. Not sure I'm there yet.

 

Love the plan.

  • caninatl04 and Original Whizzinator like this

#50 gunnarthor

gunnarthor

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 9,223 posts

Posted 05 November 2018 - 01:50 PM

 

Houston Payroll
2018 - $160.04M
2017 - $124,343,900
2016 - $69,064,200
2015 - $70,910,100
2014 - $44,544,174
2013 - $22,062,600

Houston is a huge market with ownership that is willing to spend. That isn't the Twins.


#51 Doomtints

Doomtints

    Joe's Shades™

  • Members
  • 2,850 posts

Posted 05 November 2018 - 02:02 PM

 

Houston Payroll
2018 - $160.04M
2017 - $124,343,900
2016 - $69,064,200
2015 - $70,910,100
2014 - $44,544,174
2013 - $22,062,600

And although Houston is a big city ... baseball actually considers Houston to be a "small market" team!


#52 Tomj14

Tomj14

    Chattanooga Lookouts

  • Members
  • 555 posts

Posted 05 November 2018 - 02:09 PM

 

And although Houston is a big city ... baseball actually considers Houston to be a "small market" team!

I was just pointing out Houston's payroll the last 6 years, nothing more, nothing less.

  • birdwatcher, snepp, Hosken Bombo Disco and 2 others like this

#53 ChrisKnutson

ChrisKnutson

    Junior Member

  • Members
  • 261 posts

Posted 05 November 2018 - 02:31 PM

If the FO were to make a trade, it’s more likely that they’d be trading for a 1st or 3rd basemen as insurance for Sano/Austin. One lefty bat that could pair well with Austin is Cleveland 1B Yonder Alonso, although I’m unsure if either team would even think about crossing division lines.

#54 Doomtints

Doomtints

    Joe's Shades™

  • Members
  • 2,850 posts

Posted 05 November 2018 - 02:35 PM

 

I was just pointing out Houston's payroll the last 6 years, nothing more, nothing less.

 

I know.

  • Tomj14 likes this

#55 Riverbrian

Riverbrian

    Goofy Moderator

  • Twins Mods
  • 19,804 posts
  • LocationGrand Forks, ND

Posted 05 November 2018 - 02:36 PM

 

Just so we are clear ... we can ridicule the FO and suggest they are incompetent. What we can't do is point out hard fact that shows a plan is deeply flawed. We can't point out that there is no evidence supporting statements involving financial viability.

 

Can we point a key part of this plan is signing the highest regarded SP (Corbin) and that he is from NY or that NY badly needs starting pitching or that NY generates twice or revenue. Can we point out the only time a team with the Twins revenue has pulled this off in the past 30 years was Arizona and that Arizona had just signed a billion dollar TV contract. 

 

Someone is going to point out Sherzer which is close enough to point out but the Nationals incremental revenue has been 50-60M more than the Twins so enough to pay for Sherzer nearly twice.

 

I don't have a good plan to build a contender next year because it does not exist. Unless Buxton and Sano bounce back in a huge way, we have no realistic chance. The notion we just find a plan B for guys that need to produce 6-8 WAR is naive.

 

We have no BP and two decent SPs. We need to produce 20 more wins just to be a relevant contender. The cost through agency would be an incremental $160M and that does not count replacing Mauer, Dozier, Escobar, and Pressly.

 

MLR... I'm gonna step in here for a second. 

 

Couple of things to keep in mind. 

 

1. As Moderators we not only try to restrict the severity of attacks on fellow TD members but we also try to restrict the severity of the attacks on the front office. It is much harder with the front office since they are directly in the line of fire but we try. 

 

2. The admins have been writing a series of coordinated different approaches to the off-season. Tom wrote about the abrupt change approach, Seth wrote the Status Quo Approach and Nick wrote the Big Spending Approach. When you consider the coordination of each providing something different. I don't think you can assume that any of them are 100% behind their game plans. Nick for example is very intelligent and I can read his article and assume that he knows the difficulty of signing Patrick Corbin but he's listing it because that would be ideal pick up for the Twins... in his opinion... under the context of... spending your way into contention... which is always an option for any team, even if it is a terrible idea from a business standpoint. 

 

3. It's OK to respectfully counter. Just be careful how much cold water you throw on it. These forums are for the fun of the discussion. Join in the fun. 

  • Nick Nelson, Han Joelo, birdwatcher and 10 others like this

A Skeleton walks into a bar and says... "Give me a beer... And a mop".

 

President of the "Baseball Player Positional Flexibility" Club 

Founded 4-23-16 

 

Strike Zone Automation Advocate


#56 bobs

bobs

    Cedar Rapids

  • Members
  • 191 posts

Posted 05 November 2018 - 02:45 PM

MAN, it is fun to spend someone else's money isn't it?!?!I actually like this!I'm a homegrown, hometown fan and as such I like following the prospects as they come up....so, hate to see Gonsalves go, but he's no guaranteed thing by any means.How good would that little side trade for Cave look if they could turn it into a stud reliever Iglesias.I'm on record as saying I love the idea of pairing Jose Iglesias with Polanco up the middle.I only have two things that give me pause....first, I know we're afraid of Aaron Hicks 2.0, but are we sure we want to commit that kind of money to Buxton??And second, I'm ALWAYS leery of bringing pitchers from the NL to the AL and expecting similar production.

  • Original Whizzinator likes this

#57 TheLeviathan

TheLeviathan

    Twins News Team

  • Members
  • 15,430 posts

Posted 05 November 2018 - 03:17 PM

I would think that most plans should want to stay below 125M. It makes the exercise more interesting, IMO, when we have to create within a reasonable budget. Going too far outside what is most reasonable to expect does sorta feel like cheating. I’m not saying that o criticize a plan I’m already on record as liking, just pointing out how much value I think the exercise has when we try to stay in the same range.

 

The argument of "there's no reason..." isn't particularly compelling.Especially in light of decades of evidence.

Edited by TheLeviathan, 05 November 2018 - 03:57 PM.

  • gunnarthor and KGB like this

#58 spanman2

spanman2

    Junior Member

  • Members
  • 197 posts

Posted 05 November 2018 - 03:22 PM

Regardless of who they sign/extend etc. there is NO reason they can't hit $150 million in payroll.That is not asking to much of ownership!

  • Original Whizzinator likes this
I WAS TOLD I WOULD NEVER MAKE IT BECAUSE I AM TOO SHORT. WELL, I'M STILL TOO SHORT. IT DOESN'T MATTER WHAT YOUR HEIGHT IS. IT'S WHAT'S IN YOUR HEART.

KIRBY PUCKETT

#59 Nick Nelson

Nick Nelson

    Owner

  • Administrators
  • 3,530 posts

Posted 05 November 2018 - 05:00 PM

 

The argument of "there's no reason..." isn't particularly compelling.Especially in light of decades of evidence.

Sure, that's fair. 

 

BUT, I think a few folks are overstating the importance of historical trends and existing evidence in this discussion, while ignoring some pretty obviously relevant factors. Namely, this: 

 

Before last offseason, what reason was there to think we were gonna see an all-time high payroll in franchise history in 2018? Falvey and Levine have essentially had one full offseason at the helm, and it resulted in more spending than we've ever seen before from the organization. 

 

And while $150 million might seem like a huge number through the lens of Twins fans, it's really not that outrageous in the scope of today's MLB. It just isn't. 

  • birdwatcher, Twins33, Vanimal46 and 2 others like this

#60 Nick Nelson

Nick Nelson

    Owner

  • Administrators
  • 3,530 posts

Posted 05 November 2018 - 05:11 PM

Also, allow me to add that these comparisons to a typical corporate business setting are frightfully off-the-mark. Does anyone actually think pro sports operates in the same mindset as standard consumer-facing companies?

 

Yes, ownership is interested in turning profit and driving revenue. But doing so is entirely dependent on fan interest, which is currently as low as it's been in 15 years (as far as attendance is concerned). I'm not sure how you can argue from a business standpoint that investing extra right now to rejuvenate interest and thrust the team back toward contention would be some sort of epic blunder, especially when it doesn't involve pigeonholing themselves into that kind of spending long-term. (To the contrary: I see players like Berrios/Corbin/Buxton becoming the building blocks surrounded by cheaper young talent from the pipeline.)

  • Don Walcott and Original Whizzinator like this



Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: byron buxton, jose berrios