Johnson is due 13.75 million, and he isn't a "good" pitcher he is an ace. You argue you would rather have 3 good pitchers instead of Johnson, please let me know which 3 pitchers you are going to get for $13 million.
Payroll's going down, not up, and even for one year, that would be hard to swallow, given the fact that we arguably need 3 OK starters more than we need one good one.
As much as guys like Joe Saunders kind of suck, you could stitch together an argument that it would make a bigger difference in the win/loss
Joe Saunders does suck, I want nothing to do with a Joe Saunders on this staff.
Lastly, as I mentioned, you trade for Johnson and try to sign him to a 4 year extension while his value isn't at his peak. Perhaps he would be willing to give a bit of a discount (not a ton) to come back to Minnesota. Absolute worst case scenario is that he walks at the end of the year and you end up with draft pick compensation.
My ideal beginning to the off-season:
Trade Span for some high upside pitching in the minors. (Or if you can get a nice SS like Andrus or something, think about that as well, even though Andrus isn't getting any cheaper...)
Trade Rosario+ C prospect or two for Josh Johnson.
Sign Johnson to 4 year, 70-75 million extension.
Sign Scott Baker to 1 year, 3 mil base (3 more million in incentives)
At this point the Twins would still have quite a bit more money to play with. (+13.75 mil to Johnson, +3 mil to Baker, -4.75 mil Span, -3 mil Nishi) heading into the off-season the Twins were looking at the very minimum of 20 million to spend, more then likely 25+ million. At this point you would still have at least another 10-11 million to spend if you want to bring in another "good" SP or find some INF help.
Edited by SpiritofVodkaDave, 08 October 2012 - 02:24 PM.