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Why have the Twins been dumping so much salary and players the last couple years?

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#1 Brodin4Calder

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Posted 05 May 2013 - 01:08 AM

The Twins were the powerhouse of the Central from 00'-10' which included 6 first place finishes. The payroll that year was 114mil, the highest in the central. Since that season everything has gone down hill. We have cut 42mil in payroll including Cuddyer, Kubel, Revere, Span, Nathan.... The Twins are know for dumping players when its time to pay them but not so many so quick. So why the salary dumping and player dumping? Is it because the owner died? New stadium?

Yea the Twins salary was higher in 2011 and they only won 60 games but Mauer, Morneau, Thome and Span only played half the season and Kubel only played 99 games and Revere only played 117 games so as you can see that season was a mess with injuries and other random stuff. That is the season they got rid of Cuddyer, Kubel, Thome, Nathan and a couple others. And it showed the next season when they only won 60 games again. They they followed that up with getting rid of Span and Revere the next year.


Now we have the worst team we have had in a long time, and the lowest payroll in the division. Just think of how much better we would be with some of these players Cuddyer, Nathan, Span, Revere, Kubel, Hunter.... And a top of the roto pitcher or 2 from FA. I mean our team has done nothing for us in the last couple years, they have let all of our good players go and got nobody to replace them. Its truly sad to see our franchise hurting this bad.

Now the Twins have alot of light at the end of the tunnel. We have a few top of the line prospects that could turn us into a really good team in the next several years. Sano and Buxton have the potential to be some of the leagues best players, especialy Buxton. Meyer and Gibson are top of the roto guys that will give the twins some real talent in the rotation. Theres other good prospects too but those 4 could make or break us in the future. We also have the 4th overall pick in this years draft. It would be nice if we had a top 2 so we could grab Appel or Gray. But as you can see we do have a bright future.

Which brings me to my last comment. We have seen the Twins ship out our best players for years now. When will they spend some extra money to keep our team together and build depth? I really hope that when some of our prospects become all stars and it comes time to re sign them that we keep all of them. Lets stop this trend of being the team that builds great players then ships them out.

#2 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 05 May 2013 - 07:13 AM

The Twins generally keep their best players, not ship them out. The two exceptions were Santana and Hunter.

Cuddyer was replaced by Willingham, who is a better player for less money. Kubel, well... A DH lefty specialist hitter isn't worth the money Arizona is paying him and the Twins are already trying to clear room in the outfield not add more bodies on the wrong side of 30. Perkins is as good (probably better) than Nathan for less money with more health security.

Ryan received quite a haul back for Revere and Span. That wasn't a payroll dump. It was smart roster management.

The Twins are bad because they drafted poorly for several years and then ran into a bit of bad luck, not because they failed to spend enough money. I'm all for picking up complementary players via free agency but expecting a GM to assemble an entire rotation using only free agency is a good way to become the next Miami Marlins.

#3 jorgenswest

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Posted 05 May 2013 - 07:48 AM

The Twins are bad because they drafted poorly for several years and then ran into a bit of bad luck, not because they failed to spend enough money. I'm all for picking up complementary players via free agency but expecting a GM to assemble an entire rotation using only free agency is a good way to become the next Miami Marlins.


Spot on.

The way out the mess is through development of young talent. A lot rides on Gibson, Meyer, May and Berrios, but there seems to light at the end of the tunnel.

#4 ashburyjohn

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Posted 05 May 2013 - 09:54 AM

Arizona is paying him


... and shopping him.

Edited by ashburyjohn, 05 May 2013 - 10:22 AM.


#5 kab21

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Posted 05 May 2013 - 10:59 AM

Kubel is actually worth the money AZ is paying him but the Twins made the right move.

I think a summary of the payroll cutting is that bad teams with older players let those older FA's go and get younger/cheaper for the next run. It's just the way it happens. They could have spent a little more in FA this year but overall they are setting up nicely for 2015 and they should be better next year.

#6 ashburyjohn

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Posted 05 May 2013 - 11:50 AM

I think a summary of the payroll cutting is that bad teams with older players let those older FA's go and get younger/cheaper for the next run.


And then they stay inexpensive for a few seasons as those younger players mature but stay under team control via the CBA. And thus every year, you have a (different) team for fans of small market teams to point to and say "see? the Rangers/Athletics/whoever don't have a huge payroll and they do all right."

#7 BHtwins

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Posted 05 May 2013 - 11:57 AM

The Cuddyer and Kubel moves/non-moves were the right thing to do. I wish they'd have tried harder on Baker. Santana didnt want to be here and Hunters Angel's deal was something the Twins couldnt compete with. Otherwise they actually havent been to bad at keeping the right players.

In addition to poor drafts they also had some horrific deals that really wrecked things. Nishi, JJ Hardy walking away, the absolute disaster that the Delmon Young move was for example.

It was a bad 4-5 year run of general managing and poor luck in that no move really worked out.

Flip side is the Doumit and Willingham FA deals have shown some value

#8 ashburyjohn

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Posted 05 May 2013 - 12:40 PM

JJ Hardy walking away


Small point, but Hardy was still under team control; the team just didn't want to pay him at arbitration/market price, and traded him for flame-throwing peanuts.

#9 PeanutsFromHeaven

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Posted 05 May 2013 - 02:15 PM

...traded him for flame-throwing peanuts.


As a fan/blogger/anthropomorphic peanut I would actually have preferred flame thrower peanuts.

Seriously though, tempted as I am to tell the Twins to use the receipts from two packed seasons at Target field on the team, I think the Twins play their own brand of moneyball with free agency.

Specifically, starting pitchers are more expensive and far less reliable than any other free agent investment. (Witness that since 2010 the market's most desirable pitchers [as randomly defined by me as ranked in the top 10 FA by ESPN] included:
2010
Cliff Lee ($120M/8 years we didn't & don't have)
Carl Pavano (whom we did sign $16.5/2 years--really just one year)
Jorge DelaRosa ($21.5 M/2 years--pitched 70 total innings over those years...poorly)
Jake Westbrook ($16.5/2 years--reasonably good)
2011
Yu Darvish ($60 M/6 years)
Mark Buehrle ($58 M/4 years--and apparently hexed with a voodoo curse)
CJ Wilson ($77.5 M/5 years--again about the same as average)

That set of 7 doesn't exactly get me gung ho about diving head long into free agency, and if we save up our money to make fiscally prudent contracts to homegrown prospects (May, Meyer, Gibson, Berrios depending on who actually makes it), then so much the better. We're saving today for a better tomorrow...

But flame throwing peanuts would still be cool...
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#10 BHtwins

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Posted 05 May 2013 - 07:19 PM

Small point, but Hardy was still under team control; the team just didn't want to pay him at arbitration/market price, and traded him for flame-throwing peanuts.


Yeah, should have said let him walk away for nothing

#11 cmathewson

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Posted 05 May 2013 - 07:37 PM

The main thing is what Brock said: Bad drafting in the mid 90s. They also made several bad deals at the hands of Bill Smith, some of which we continue to pay for:

1. Garza and Bartlett for Young and Harris: A net WAR of like 70 for the Rays Though none of those players continue to play for their original tams, the Rays got a lot of value when they traded Garza and Bartlett
2. Ramos for Capps: Short term gain, long term pain. I shudder to think about a Ramos/Mauer platoon at C/DH
3. Hardy for Hoey and Jacobsen: just a bad deal all around, especially since they traded Hardy ostensibly to make room for the worst player in Twins history; Nishioka

Still and all, they have not made any stupid moves since. And their farm system is starting to catch up. The one thing baseball fans need is patience.
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#12 ashburyjohn

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Posted 05 May 2013 - 07:55 PM

Yeah, should have said let him walk away for nothing


He didn't walk; they paid his airfare to get out of town. :)

#13 Twins Twerp

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Posted 05 May 2013 - 08:38 PM

Depressing thread. I think as time moves on smith will go from worst gm ever to a really bad gm. He did make some decent moves like pavano trade and his international signings. Obviously the bad outweigh the good but he wasnt a complete failure. The first hardy trade as well as signing orlando hudson worked as that team was fun to watch and finished with the best record in baseball (I think).

#14 TheLeviathan

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Posted 05 May 2013 - 09:12 PM

The main thing is what Brock said: Bad drafting in the mid 90s. They also made several bad deals at the hands of Bill Smith, some of which we continue to pay for.


Let's be clear here too, I feel like I have to keep reminding people, but Smith also was the one that reversed a long drought of bad drafting/amateur signings. Ryan also set up a lot of the problems we had after the 2007 season - not deciding what to do with Santana, the Castillo trade was sign as a white flag in the clubhouse, and largely used FA to burden us all with watching Rondell White.

I love what we've seen so far in how our youth is progressing and some picks last year are really showing some promise. But a lot remains to be seen that Ryan can utilize available financial resources effectively. Especially the enormous amount of flexibility we have and will continue to have for the forseeable future. My patience for that aspect is a bit short.

#15 Kwak

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Posted 05 May 2013 - 10:24 PM

Except we are supposed to believe that the same group that ran the team from the late 90's on, and that is still running the team now, will draft (and develop!) players much better than before. The opponents are standing pat either! If we have learned anything this past 5 weeks, it should be that transistion from minor league success to major league success isn't easy, fast, or assured.

#16 Reginald Maudling's Shin

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Posted 05 May 2013 - 10:42 PM

Except we are supposed to believe that the same group that ran the team from the late 90's on, and that is still running the team now, will draft (and develop!) players much better than before. The opponents are standing pat either! If we have learned anything this past 5 weeks, it should be that transistion from minor league success to major league success isn't easy, fast, or assured.

You can't judge anything from the past 5 weeks from Hicks or Arcia. If they merely hold their own and not look terrible for a whole season that's perfectly reasonable to expect and should be viewed as positive. You can't expect rookies to come in and dominate, that never happens.

#17 Reginald Maudling's Shin

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Posted 05 May 2013 - 10:46 PM

Let's be clear here too, I feel like I have to keep reminding people, but Smith also was the one that reversed a long drought of bad drafting/amateur signings. Ryan also set up a lot of the problems we had after the 2007 season - not deciding what to do with Santana, the Castillo trade was sign as a white flag in the clubhouse, and largely used FA to burden us all with watching Rondell White.

I love what we've seen so far in how our youth is progressing and some picks last year are really showing some promise. But a lot remains to be seen that Ryan can utilize available financial resources effectively. Especially the enormous amount of flexibility we have and will continue to have for the forseeable future. My patience for that aspect is a bit short.

Yep. Ryan's job should actually be a bit easier in the next few years since he's not restricted to a $55M-ish payroll, and hopefully he has some positions solidified and fewer holes to fill. Time will tell if he can shake the small market mentality of taking the best deal over the best possible player.

#18 IdahoPilgrim

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Posted 06 May 2013 - 07:05 AM

Taking your stated question at face value:

Because the players they had, even in 2010, were not going to be a winning team going forward, so it was best to start shipping them out and start rebuilding for the next wave.

#19 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 06 May 2013 - 07:13 AM

Depressing thread. I think as time moves on smith will go from worst gm ever to a really bad gm. He did make some decent moves like pavano trade and his international signings. Obviously the bad outweigh the good but he wasnt a complete failure. The first hardy trade as well as signing orlando hudson worked as that team was fun to watch and finished with the best record in baseball (I think).


Anyone who thinks Smith is the worst GM ever hasn't paid attention to some of the true disasters of baseball over the years.

His signing of Miguel Sano keeps him out of "worst ever" territory.

Smith did a lot of things right. He attacked the international market and did a very good job of signing impact players.

His drafts were a mixed bag. He hit on Hicks and Gibson, missed on Wimmers and Michael.

His trades were mostly bad but the Hardy move was extremely savvy. Unfortunately, that was coupled with offloading Hardy for a malfunctioning 98mph pitching machine. Trading Santana to the Mets was bad; offloading your best young cost-controlled pitcher in the same offseason was inexplicable and truly stupid.

And Nishioka was several forms of atrocious. Overall, he was a pretty bad GM but there were some real gems mixed in with his blunders.

#20 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 06 May 2013 - 07:24 AM

For people who make the argument that the Twins should spend their way out of being awful, please take a look at these three teams:

- 2012 Miami Marlins
- 2013 Toronto Blue Jays
- 2013 Los Angeles Dodgers

In the past two seasons, three teams have blown open the payroll and gone hog-wild to win in the short-term. In three out of three chances (obviously, this season is far from over), it has blown up in the front office's face.

You can't build a championship team using only the free agent market. The Yankees have been trying to do it for years but the only seasons they've actually won, it has been on the backs of home-grown players. Sure, they complement those players with heavy use of the free agency market but it's almost impossible to win using only the free agent market (and you tend to wipe out your farm system at the same time by making short-term trades that end up not making much of a difference).

#21 mike wants wins

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Posted 06 May 2013 - 07:25 AM

Simple answer: The drafts in the mid part of the first decade of this century did not product players that deserved to be signed, other than Mauer and Morneau.

Longer answer: Ryan does not believe in spending money on players not already on his roster. I'm very thankful Smith was the GM when Sano was available.
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#22 mike wants wins

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Posted 06 May 2013 - 07:26 AM

AROD and CC Sabathia disagree with you Brock.
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#23 cmathewson

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Posted 06 May 2013 - 07:31 AM

I don't think the GM has much to do with the draft. Smith in particular was quoted as saying he just wanted to "get out of the way". The architect of the current farm system is Johnson, who has drafted very well.

I do think we have to give credit where credit is due on international signings, not just Sano but Polanco and Keplar as the start of a trend to pay what is needed to get the talent over there. Also, Smith upgraded the Dominican Academy considerably, which was the worst in baseball for decades.

Contrast the Sano signing with how Ryan handled Cabrera, who was at our academy and only signed with the Marlins because Ryan was too cheap to pay fair market value.
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#24 mike wants wins

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Posted 06 May 2013 - 07:34 AM

Let's see one more year of international signings with Ryan before judging, but I fear he's bringing his frugal ways there also.....
Lighten up Francis....

#25 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 06 May 2013 - 07:43 AM

AROD and CC Sabathia disagree with you Brock.


And without Jeter, Cano, Pettitte, Posada, and Rivera, the Yankees don't win in 2008 (which is their only WS victory in the past 12+ seasons).

Every time the Yankees try to build a team around free agency, they fail to win the World Series. They did it from 2001-2007 and now they're doing it again. Building a team from free agency and trades means you're generally getting decline-phase players at an exorbitant price. That's not a recipe for success.

And if the Yankees can't do it with what amounts to basically an unlimited budget, the Twins sure as hell can't buy their way into the playoffs after 99 and 96 loss seasons.

#26 ThePuck

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Posted 06 May 2013 - 07:46 AM

2009, Brock

#27 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 06 May 2013 - 07:49 AM

2009, Brock


Ah, right. I always get those two seasons flipped for some reason.

And to be clear, I'm not advocating completely avoiding the free agency market. I didn't like what the Twins did this offseason and I still don't like it.

But you can't expect this team to buy their way out of suckitude.

#28 mike wants wins

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Posted 06 May 2013 - 07:50 AM

I don't view "winning the WS" as an accurage measure of success, maybe that's part of our disagreement.....

All we are asking is that when the Twins roll out Chad Allen and others as their DH on a WS contending team, that maybe spending some money on ONE legit FA would be a good idea.*

*Ok, some of us are also asking that when you have the worst collection of starting pitching the in league that you sign one legit FA too
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#29 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 06 May 2013 - 07:58 AM

I don't view "winning the WS" as an accurage measure of success, maybe that's part of our disagreement.....

All we are asking is that when the Twins roll out Chad Allen and others as their DH on a WS contending team, that maybe spending some money on ONE legit FA would be a good idea.*

*Ok, some of us are also asking that when you have the worst collection of starting pitching the in league that you sign one legit FA too


For me, it's a sliding scale. To Yankees fans, winning the World Series is about on par with Twins fans seeing their team make the postseason.

And while the Yankees may get 3-5 good seasons from A-Rod and Sabathia, at some point they're going to be saddled with 2-4 more years of absolutely awful play at an absolutely ridiculous price.

Again, I'm only referencing people who suggest that the Twins should have pursued Greinke or Sanchez. Those deals rarely work out for the "winning" team over the long haul and the Twins can't afford to be saddled with two aging players making $45m a year. But that doesn't mean the Twins should avoid the free agent market entirely. There was no good reason not to go after a Marcum or Dempster this offseason on a short contract at a reasonable price.

#30 johnnydakota

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Posted 06 May 2013 - 08:11 AM

Except most players do not want to play for a mid market penny pinching losing team on a short or resonible contract... so if your going to get quality players , you have to pay to play.



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