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Offseason Outlook: Hard Truths and Hamstrung Priorities

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#1 Nick Nelson

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Posted 25 October 2020 - 06:53 PM

In running the first several episodes of Offseason Live, and tinkering with our Twins payroll tool, it's become evident to me that the Twins will face some real challenges and difficult decisions this offseason.

Here's what I've learned.If you could simply take the same team from this year and run it back, in a full season without the disruption and abbreviation of 2020, would you do it? I know I would. I felt great about this group coming in. Despite all the setbacks and shortcomings, and despite the disappointing finish, they played .581 ball over 62 games (94-win full-season pace) and won the division.

But here's the thing: returning that same group intact just isn't an option. Which brings us to...

Hard Truth #1: The Twins are going to lose some key pieces

First of all, payroll is going to drop, here and across baseball. Everyone took major revenue hits this year, and those impacts figure to carry forward, at least to some extent. So frugality will undoubtedly be a guiding principle, near and far.

Beyond that aspect, with so many Twins players hitting free agency or escalating their salaries via arbitration, simply retaining everyone would raise payroll above $150 million, by our estimates. Even in the most optimistic of scenarios, there's just no way the Twins are raising payroll by 10% from this year.

Download attachment: payroll1.png

Okay, so let's remove all of the guys we identified as tough calls, or expendable assets, in the Twins free agent and arbitration episodes:
  • Nelson Cruz ($14 million free agent projection)
  • Jake Odorizzi ($12 million free agent projection)
  • Eddie Rosario ($10-12 million arbitration projection)
  • Taylor Rogers ($6-7 million arbitration projection)
  • Trevor May ($6 million free agent projection)
  • Rich Hill ($5 million free agent projection)
  • Sergio Romo ($5 million team option with $250K buyout)
  • Marwin González ($3 million free agent projection)
  • Tyler Clippard ($3 million free agent projection)
  • Alex Avila ($3 million free agent projection)

That's 10 players, each of whom (with the exception of Odorizzi) played a significant role for the team in 2020. Losing all those players would be a far cry from keeping the team intact, but the good news is that the Twins don't need to lose all of them.

Here's where the front office begins to find itself hamstrung in setting and evaluating priorities.

Hard Truth #2: If the Twins retain their big-name properties, they'll have minimal flexibility to do anything else

Where will payroll land in 2021? No one knows right now, but we're setting the bar at a reduction of 10% from this year, which would put the Twins around $125 million. Subtracting all the pieces mentioned above, our baseline spending commitment for next year is about $85 million, meaning we've got something like $40 million to spend on LF, DH, UTIL, C, two SP spots and 4 bullpen spots.

Let's say we want to bring back two of the lineup's most reliable producers in Rosario and Cruz. That's about $25 million shelled out on two players, soaking up more than half of our available funds. Wanna bring back Rogers too? Add another $6 million or so. Now we've got less than $10 million to address multiple rotation spots, a critical backup infielder role, and the remaining half of the bullpen.

Download attachment: payroll2.png

Not really gonna work. This year proved out once again the vital importance of quality depth. The Twins would be negligent not to account for that by building up the back of their rotation, the end of their bullpen, and the contingencies behind their uncertainty-plagued infield. (Especially at the hot corner.)

Hard Truth #3: Josh Donaldson's presence makes it very hard to justify keeping Nelson Cruz

When they handed Donaldson an historic free agent deal, the Twins knew they were signing up for four years of lopsided and restrictive payroll commitment. Just one year in, we are already feeling the impact. As the front office tries to trim down spending, and work around Donaldson's team-leading $21 million figure, they also need to invest in a capable backup option behind him. It's not Donaldson's salary alone that weighs on the Twins, but also his status as an undependable commodity. In fantasy football terms, he needs a "handcuff."

There are lingering question marks all around the Twins infield – from Luis Arráez's knee to Jorge Polanco's angle to Miguel Sanó's neck – but no member is more valuable or vulnerable than Donaldson, who turns 35 in December and has had a good chunk of his post-30 career wiped out by calf issues. Having an untested rookie like Travis Blankenhorn or a no-hit utilityman like Ehire Adrianza as his top backup is simply not palatable.

Standout free agent options to fill this role, like Kiké Hernández and Jurickson Profar, figure to land in the $7-9 million annual range, not unlike González when he first hit the market out of Houston. Signing a player like that in addition to Cruz would leave the Twins with minimal flexibility to address their rotation and bullpen.

Download attachment: payroll3.png

What you've really got to ask yourself: Can the Twins afford to pay Donaldson and Cruz – two aging right-handed sluggers with inherent durability concerns and fairly similar functions – around $35 million in combined money next year? That's more than a quarter of the total projected payroll.

Having both these guys in the lineup was a luxury, and one the team probably can't necessarily justify preserving. In my opinion, they likely knew this when they signed Donaldson. He was always going to be Cruz's replacement, even if not an immediate one. Especially when you consider that keeping Donaldson healthy and on the field will likely require mixing him in semi-regularly at DH, to ease the burden on his legs. That's not compatible in the short term with a scenario where Cruz is re-signed.

Hard Truth #4: Maintaining the pitching staff's strength means relying on the offense to get right without its most established run producers

The Twins won at a .600 clip during the 2020 regular season mainly due to their pitching staff. Their arms proved a decisive advantage in the division, holding strong while Chicago's faltered down the stretch. Cleveland built its recent AL Central dynasty on pitching, which is partially why the Twins plucked Derek Falvey away from them.

It behooves this organization to invest in building upon their world-class pitching staff this offseason. With Odorizzi, Hill, May, Romo and Clippard all hitting the market, there are several key roles needing to be backfilled. And while internal options exist – Randy Dobnak, Devin Smeltzer, Lewis Thorpe, Edwar Colina, etc. – it's probably best not to view any of them as Option A for important duties.

In the example below, I've got the Twins re-signing Odorizzi as fourth starter for $12 million (feel free to swap in someone at a similar level, like Marcus Stroman, James Paxton, or Jose Quintana) and Drew Smyly for $4 million as the Homer Bailey-esque fifth starter gamble (as needed, substitute Mike Fiers, Tijuana Walker, Michael Wacha, etc.). I also tried to keep the bullpen somewhat intact by bringing back Romo and Clippard, although we lose May.

As you can see, these moves – in combination with signing Hernandez (or Profar, or Jonathan Villar, or Tommy La Stella) as the backup infielder and Donaldson insurance – gobble up all of our available payroll.

Download attachment: payroll4.png

We're right up to that $125 million threshold, even with minimum-salary rookies replacing Rosario and Cruz. And I get why it seems horrifying to people who see the 300 runs those two have driven in over the past couple years, and wonder how to possibly replace that offensive production.

I would submit it's not as hard as one might think. Donaldson will hopefully play more, and more effectively. Ditto Garver. Sanó can be more consistent and Brent Rooker can factor in more heavily. Plus there are intriguing right-handed options on the free agent market at OF an DH that will be much cheaper and a Cruz or Rosario. We'll cover several of them Tuesday night on Offseason Live.

The question it comes down to is whether you want to spend available funds on creating functional depth, in the lineup and pitching staff, or you want to funnel it into retaining a 40-year-old designated hitter who's been the heart and soul of your club.

It's not an easy decision. There aren't many ahead of the Twins this offseason.

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#2 beckmt

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Posted 25 October 2020 - 08:23 PM

Rosario is as good as gone, as is Gonzales and a few others.I might bring Clippard back, but not Romo.Cave and other possible outfield options will be sent packing.  

Needs good 4th starter on one year term, and more bullpen pieces.  

A good share of Tampa's bullpen throws high heat and a second breaking pitch.That should be the Twins model.Would like to see May back, but probably too expensive. Should be a fair number of relievers on the open market as many command excess dollars for small market teams.  

We shall see.

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#3 Trov

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Posted 25 October 2020 - 08:50 PM

Maybe I missed it in the article, but how are you coming up with FA estimates?You state in the beginning of the article payrolls will go down across baseball.So if that is true, and I believe it is, why would the FA estimates be what you are estimating?I assume this is based on some level historic data, but we are in uncharted territory moving forward.It is entirely possible the FA estimates are high because if every team wants to cut costs who will be willing to pay what the player feels they are worth?Maybe the player retires like Span did when he was lowballed, but maybe they take the paycut.I would argue they can bring back whoever they want, for the right price.Will the price be too high, you estimate yes, but maybe no other team will pay that price, so why should the Twins.Make your bid, see if other teams will outbid, and if they do then wish them well. 

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#4 Nick Nelson

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Posted 25 October 2020 - 09:47 PM

 

Maybe I missed it in the article, but how are you coming up with FA estimates?  

It's basically guesswork. We took the amounts we would normally expect these players to make in a typical free agent market and trimmed them down a bit. Far from scientific, and open to scrutinizing for sure. But I don't think they're too far off for the most part. 

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#5 mnfireman

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Posted 25 October 2020 - 09:53 PM

I see a lot of posters eager to cut ties with Rosario, i.e. DFA him because they feel he is not worth the contract he will be awarded and the presence of Kirilloff and Rooker. I say the same thing goes for Sano. If payroll flexibility is the end game, he's gotta go also. I know he's under contract so its not the same, but the reasoning is the same...performance does meet production. Trade him for bullpen/bench pieces and live with the consequences if he does figure it out.

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#6 arby58

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Posted 26 October 2020 - 06:24 AM

 

theI see a lot of posters eager to cut ties with Rosario, i.e. DFA him because they feel he is not worth the contract he will be awarded and the presence of Kirilloff and Rooker. I say the same thing goes for Sano. If payroll flexibility is the end game, he's gotta go also. I know he's under contract so its not the same, but the reasoning is the same...performance does meet production. Trade him for bullpen/bench pieces and live with the consequences if he does figure it out.

The Twins gave up on David Ortiz at age 26 after 3 years of gradual improvement. Dismissing 2020 (which, based on a variety of factors, seems reasonable) and comparing Sano and Ortiz at age 26, Sano in 105 games (Ortiz 125) had 380 AB (Ortiz 412) and had 34 HR (Ortiz 20), 79 RBI (Ortiz 75) hit ..247/.346/.576 for an OPS of .923 (Ortiz .272/.339/.500 for an OPS of .839) and had an OPS+ of 139 (Ortiz 120).

 

I'm not saying that if the Twins trade him for a bag of baseballs he will have a remaining career like Ortiz, but their stats at a similar age were similar (and favoring Sano in several key categories).

 

Yes, 2020 was dismal, with a slightly negative WAR for Sano, but trading a player with his impact potential at the low point in his MLB career sounds like the stock market equivalent of buying high and selling low.

 

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#7 dbminn

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Posted 26 October 2020 - 06:37 AM

You make a convincing argument, Nick. I have just a couple of differences.

  • Buy out Romo - I'd rather sign May to a 2-yr deal, if possible.
  • I'm not a Smyly fan. I'd rather have Dobnak, Duran and others compete for that rotation spot. 

The Smyly money might be needed for the 4th SP. IMO, Odo will get more than $12M/yr (who knows, with covid). My 2nd option, Stroman, will certainly get a bit more.

 

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#8 rdehring

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Posted 26 October 2020 - 07:31 AM

Add me to the list of those who really appreciated this article and the work you put forth, thanks Nick.

 

I question whether the budget may actually see a bigger cut than 10%, perhaps as much as 20-25% if there is a strong possibility that it will again be a season without fans. With that said, I would cut ties with Romo and bring back May. Yes, a few dollars (or million) more, but would work to find them elsewhere. 

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#9 saviking

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Posted 26 October 2020 - 08:19 AM

Time for a youth movement. You can't underestimate the value of their low salary's. I'm fine with disposing of:

 

Gonzalez, Rosie, Sano, Cave, Odorizzi, Romo .. As much as Cruz means to us if he insists on a two year deal I'm fine with replacing him with Rooker. I would trade Donaldson in a heartbeat if we could find a taker but I doubt anyone would. 

 

Vikings are going to have to tear down and rebuild. Will take 3 years. Twins can rebuild in 1 year. I'm ready to do that ..

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#10 DocBauer

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Posted 26 October 2020 - 09:25 AM

Not 100% convinced Hernandez, Profar, etc get $7M based on dropping payroll, losses, drops in the market even before covid, and a possible saturation of DFA.

I'd rather spend a little more and keep May over Romo. (And I respect Romo and the job he's done). Just my humble opinion, I don't see May getting more than $5M/$6M tops. Why pay Romo $5M?

Smyly or similar for the 5th rotation spot is intriguing. I've been thinking more along the lines of someone cheaper, more a flier to compete with Dobnak and other internal offers.

You're right about some tough choices. The map you've put together here is smart. I'm just not so sure a couple of your figures aren't a little high.
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#11 Major League Ready

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Posted 26 October 2020 - 09:44 AM

 

 

Hard Truth #2: If the Twins retain their big-name properties, they'll have minimal flexibility to do anything else

Where will payroll land in 2021? No one knows right now, but we're setting the bar at a reduction of 10% from this year, which would put the Twins around $125 million. Subtracting all the pieces mentioned above, our baseline spending commitment for next year is about $85 million, meaning we've got something like $40 million to spend on LF, DH, UTIL, C, two SP spots and 4 bullpen spots.

Let's say we want to bring back two of the lineup's most reliable producers in Rosario and Cruz. That's about $25 million shelled out on two players, soaking up more than half of our available funds. Wanna bring back Rogers too? Add another $6 million or so. Now we've got less than $10 million to address multiple rotation spots, a critical backup infielder role, and the remaining half of the bullpen.

 

 

I appreciate the effort here but I really don't know how we can estimate their budget. If they are optimistic and assume they will make two-thirds of normal attendance generated revenue, the result is a $40M decrease in revenue. 

 

I am coming up with 93M as opposed to the $80M estimated here. I used arbitration values approximately the same as TD estimates and Maeda is estimated at $9M to arrive at $93M.I don't know where the budget ends up but your general theme that there won't be a lot of dollars available and six spots to fill is accurate regardless of the exact budget.


#12 rv78

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Posted 26 October 2020 - 10:16 AM

 

The Twins gave up on David Ortiz at age 26 after 3 years of gradual improvement. Dismissing 2020 (which, based on a variety of factors, seems reasonable) and comparing Sano and Ortiz at age 26, Sano in 105 games (Ortiz 125) had 380 AB (Ortiz 412) and had 34 HR (Ortiz 20), 79 RBI (Ortiz 75) hit ..247/.346/.576 for an OPS of .923 (Ortiz .272/.339/.500 for an OPS of .839) and had an OPS+ of 139 (Ortiz 120).

 

I'm not saying that if the Twins trade him for a bag of baseballs he will have a remaining career like Ortiz, but their stats at a similar age were similar (and favoring Sano in several key categories).

 

Yes, 2020 was dismal, with a slightly negative WAR for Sano, but trading a player with his impact potential at the low point in his MLB career sounds like the stock market equivalent of buying high and selling low.

 

Sorry, I don't understand the continuous camparison of Sano to Ortiz. They are hardly the same players. For #1 Sano is a dead pull right-handed hitter. Ortiz was a lefty that hit to all fields once he went to Boston. In Sano's 1st 6 seasons, he had 2256 plate appearances and struck out 834 times. Ortiz in his 1st 6 seasons which got him to 2202 plate appearances he struck out 422 times. Almost half as often. 

 

Will Sano ever learn to hit to the opposite field? To use the short Green Monster wall to hit opposite field HomeRuns and doubles like Ortiz did when he went to Boston? I would guess NOT. I don't see any ballparks with a Green Monster in right field. If you don't think the Green Monster changed how Ortiz hit then you are mistaken.

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#13 LA VIkes Fan

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Posted 26 October 2020 - 10:25 AM

Tough choices all the way through. Appreciate your efforts and I agree with your assumptions. I agree with your thinking with only a couple of exceptions:

 

(1) I don't think the Twins will spend $7-9m on an infield utility guy. I think Travis Blankenhorn and Adrianza will be the utility guys at roughly 1.5m combined. Why Adrianza? Because he can play SS.

 

(2) I think Odorizzi at 12m is a great call got the 4th starter, but I don't see the Twins spending 4-5m on a 5th starter. That spot goes to Dobnak/Thorpe/Smeltzer/regular BP games.

 

(3) I agree that Donaldson is the replacement for Cruz but I think you're a year early, particular since the no DH in the NL rule will depress his market a little. I think Cruz re-signs for 10-12m, not 14m, with an option at 8-10m for 2022. Money comes from not paying for a veteran IF utility guy or a veteran 5th starter. 

 

(4) I like Rosario (a lot) but you're right that he can't stay IF Kepler, Buxton and Sano stay, and I think they will. I do think the Twins offer him arbitration and trade him for a B level prospect at AA or AAA and another at A ball. Crummy return, but the economics dictate that result with AAA guys ready to play. Cave is gone, Rooker and Kirilloff replace Cave and Rosario with Wade back in AAA as a replacement. 

 

(5) Romo goes to free up money for May or Clippard. May gets 2 years at 5-6m a year from someone else (Houston or the Angels), and Clippard gets a 1 year 3-4m deal to stay. 

 

All of that saves roughly 10-11m that's used for Cruz, plus the 10m projected salary for Rosario and the 8-10m necessary for another year of Romo and May. Offense is about the same IF Rooker and Kiriloff can match Rosario, and rotation is about the same IF Pineda and Odorizzi are available for 20 plus starts each next year. BP is weaker without Romo and May unless Alcala can step up and Rogers rebounds, buts there's a 50/50 or better chance of that happening. Defense takes a hit if Rooker plays LF a lot, Kirilloff keeps it about the same. Less depth so more risk, but overall still a contending team unless we have a lot of injuries. 

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#14 twinkiesfan11

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Posted 26 October 2020 - 11:03 AM

My thoughts:

 

Departures: 

 - Non-tender Rosario: Not worth the cost in the COVID financial environment and there are three internal options ready for an MLB opportunity (Kirilloff, Rooker, Larnach). 

 - Allow Gonzalez, Avila, Hill all walk in FA : Time to move on From Gonzalez, I believe a Garver/Jeffers timeshare is the way to go in 2021 and a combination of Astudillo, Telis and maybe another AAA C should be plenty of depth, Hill was solid when healthy but can't be counted on. 

 - Buy out Romo: One soft-tossing RH in the pen is enough(more on that later), his antics got old this season and he got roughed up a bit late in the season. 

 

Retaining: 

 - Odorizzi: On a 1-year make good contract. 

 - May: On a 2-3 year contract. 

 - Rogers: Relievers tend to be up and down, I'm betting he'll bounce back. 

 - Clippard: Very solid veteran to keep around

 - Thielbar: Looks legit, nice 2nd LH 

 - Adrianza: He's a good end of the bench insurance policy

 

Up in the Air:

- Cruz: On a 1-year contract or a 1+ team option only. With the NL leaning toward no DH in 2021 his number of suiters should be somewhat limited again. If he won't accept I would pivot attention immediately to Starling Marte or George Springer. Honestly I like the idea of the DH slot being more of a rotating slot than committed to one defensively limited player anyway. Either of these two would provide high level offensive output with the ability to play CF if/(when) Buxton is injured. 

 - Cave: Just not sure I see a fit. 

 

Holes: 

 - 5th Starter: I feel with Maeda, Berrios, Pineda and Odorizzi the Twins can afford to address this slot either internally with one of Dobnak, Thorpe, Smeltzer, Duran, Chalmers, etc or with another trade for someone honestly none of us could predict (Maeda as an example). 

 - Utility: I personally don't feel this is a position to invest big dollars to fill. It felt like teams were much more aggressive in 2020 promoting their top prospects. I'd honestly rather see the Twins just bite the bullet and commit to Royce Lewis as the starting SS on opening day. Lewis can also handle CF and 3B, Polanco can rotate between 2B and SS, Sano is certainly capable of playing some 3B sporadically, Kirilloff can play COF and 1B, etc. Rather than have a roster spot committed to an expensive veteran utility player (Hernandez, Profar, etc) I would rely on the versatility of the players on the roster. 

 

 

 

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#15 4twinsJA

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Posted 26 October 2020 - 11:14 AM

If you did this exercise last year, doubt if Maeda or Wisler would have made list of possibilities. I am sure there are a few players the Twins have their eye on that will be released or nontendered in the next couple of months, maybe some trade candidates. Will not be the year Twins sign big time free agent, but should be some bargains in the free agent market given payroll decreases across MLB. Plenty of talk of offensive prospects getting opportunity, but also I look for some young pitchers to get a shot next year, but probably not on roster opening day. Not a fan of signing aging players, especially pitchers, hoping to get one more good year out of them. I would let Cruz, Marwin, Romo, Clippard, Hill go.


#16 Original_JB

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Posted 26 October 2020 - 11:57 AM

Wait a minute; when the Stock Market is down, that's when you buy, buy, buy. You've just stated that everyone is going to be looking to save money and that means that salaries are going to be depressed. The Twins make pretty good profits year after year after year. You said you'd roll with the same team 'if you could' but that it'd cost $150M to do so. Well then, what better year to do so than this one, where everyone else is (in theory) decreasing their payroll, ie; talent level? Maybe you let Cruz go due to the Donaldson duplication there, but why not actually go after winning the World Series? That's what we're here for, right? Yes, I know it's a business, but if you liked your team's chances before, investing NOW actually increases your chances of winning it all. I realize the 'fans in the stands' is a crapshoot, but what would a serious run, or god forbid winning it all, do for $$$ inflow (or player's desire to play here) over the next several years? I know, it's not my money, but if not now, when?

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#17 chaderic20

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Posted 26 October 2020 - 01:48 PM

 

Wait a minute; when the Stock Market is down, that's when you buy, buy, buy. You've just stated that everyone is going to be looking to save money and that means that salaries are going to be depressed. The Twins make pretty good profits year after year after year. You said you'd roll with the same team 'if you could' but that it'd cost $150M to do so. Well then, what better year to do so than this one, where everyone else is (in theory) decreasing their payroll, ie; talent level? Maybe you let Cruz go due to the Donaldson duplication there, but why not actually go after winning the World Series? That's what we're here for, right? Yes, I know it's a business, but if you liked your team's chances before, investing NOW actually increases your chances of winning it all. I realize the 'fans in the stands' is a crapshoot, but what would a serious run, or god forbid winning it all, do for $$$ inflow (or player's desire to play here) over the next several years? I know, it's not my money, but if not now, when?

I said basically this exact thing in another thread the other day (http://twinsdaily.co...ndpost&p=999930). Now is the time to be investing in free agents while they're cheap. You take a financial hit for the first couple years, but make it back in years 3+ of the contracts by still having them under contract for cheap and winning lots of games, which means more fans, and more playoff money. Or even then trade those cheap contracts down the line for big prospect hauls.

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#18 tarheeltwinsfan

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Posted 26 October 2020 - 02:11 PM

 

Wait a minute; when the Stock Market is down, that's when you buy, buy, buy. You've just stated that everyone is going to be looking to save money and that means that salaries are going to be depressed. The Twins make pretty good profits year after year after year. You said you'd roll with the same team 'if you could' but that it'd cost $150M to do so. Well then, what better year to do so than this one, where everyone else is (in theory) decreasing their payroll, ie; talent level? Maybe you let Cruz go due to the Donaldson duplication there, but why not actually go after winning the World Series? That's what we're here for, right? Yes, I know it's a business, but if you liked your team's chances before, investing NOW actually increases your chances of winning it all. I realize the 'fans in the stands' is a crapshoot, but what would a serious run, or god forbid winning it all, do for $$$ inflow (or player's desire to play here) over the next several years? I know, it's not my money, but if not now, when?

Interesting proposal. I'm reminded of the race car driver who said, when he say a wreck on the track, he pushed the accelerator to the floorboard, because he knew all the other drivers were letting up. 


#19 DocBauer

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Posted 26 October 2020 - 05:14 PM

By no means an absolute, but something to consider. In anything approaching "normal" and in contention...even hopeful contention...the Twins payroll would probably rise 5-10% putting them at or close to $150M which has Belen about the ML mean the past couple of seasons. I say this not only due to some posters stating here there is obvious opportunity to NOT drop payroll and instead add a couple pieces to the roster as replacement options, much less keeping certain players, but because John and Aaron brought it up on their recent podcast.

So in theory, NOT cutting spending actually accounts for a 10% cut already. It's a nice thought. It's a thought I wish the FO would embrace, cut their losses for 2020, keep the most important players they can, re-tool a few spots, and let it ride with the same payroll as this past season. And maybe they will surprise and it will happen. But I still expect everyone to cut, at least a little, and I'm still thinking the $125M mark is about right.
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#20 mikelink45

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Posted 26 October 2020 - 06:06 PM

Wish I could understand professional sports economics, but even with an economics major back in the 60s I am so far from this reality that I can only shake my head.The egotists in NY have always disregarded the true economics of the game because they wanted to win.Who do we have with that mentality now?  

 

The silly thing is that baseball teams competed with themselves.How many teams were going to give Mike Trout, Mookie Betts, Gerrit Cole - you name them - $30 million a year?Those were ego contracts.The record is filled with Pujols types riding into the sunset on some huge and ridiculous contracts.The Rays have shown the way to cheap teams and so have the A's. 

But of course the billionaire owners smile on their way to the bank and that is the last thing I want to see.  

 

If the owners recognize that their teams are just a bauble in their bragging rights world then they can spend whatever they want.

 

The difference is the commissioner who has less interest in baseball and more in the bottom line that anyone in recent memory. 

  • alphanumeric likes this



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