First off, NO... I do not expect the Twins to be anywhere NEAR in the running for Ohtani. He most like lt has zero interest in a midwest location, and we will not spend that much. The question however is SHOULD we be in the running? and the answer is an unequivocal YES.
Everyone is talking about how we will be lowering payroll, primarily because of the lack of TV contract. I would suggest that actually signing Ohtani would give the Twins leverage to sign a bigger contract. The guy is a mega draw! Lets play with some hypothetical numbers.
For easy math let's throw out a $50M AAV for Ohtani. the numbers that have floated around are that the Twins had about $50M coming in from local TV rights, and that now people are guestimating that would drop to somewhere around $25M. I would venture to guess that EVERY sports broadcasting company would be battling it out to be the ones to be able to carry Ohtani's games, even locally. With the guaranteed increased viewership with Ohtani, you would think broadcast companies would come back in even at the same contract details as the previous one.
Now I do not claim to know details of the previous contracts, and how lucrative they have been for the TV companies, or if they were a big reason they sought bankruptcy protection, btu I would assume that a team with Ohtani alone could draw enough. viewership... ad revenue, that at the same contract that brought the Twins $50M would be doable.
Working on that assumption would be that without Ohtani we receive $25M, with Ohtani we receive $50M. That $25M offsets the first $25M of Ohtani's salary. That means the Twins would need to clear another $25M from the payroll in order to remain at last years levels. And again, the only, or at least main reason the Twins are cutting payroll is the lack of TV contract money.
Looking at the Twins roster it does not take a genius how to clear that money. Kepler and Polanco together free up around $20M. There is another $22M being freed up with Sonny Gray, Kyle Farmer and Kenta Maeda not being back with us. These moves alone more than free up the remaining balance to cover Ohtani.
Factor in other potential cost saving measures like moving Vasquez and Pagan =$13.5M, Gallo's $11M and Mahle's $7.5M coming off the books..
The point of all of this rambling is to say that the current lack of TV contract is EXACTLY WHY the Twins should be a front runner for Ohtani. You sign him, you overpay for himif needed. and then you leverage him to sign a much bigger TV deal than you would otherwise sign without him.
and that is not even factoring in ticket sales, concessions, etc. Ohtani's deal at ANY price will more than pay for itself, but more so if he signs with a team without a current TV deal. Teams with TV deals in place will not be able to leverage his star status for more TV money.
Again, key word in the title here is SHOULD, I know he and they WONT. :(