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How Much Can The Twins Spend This Offseason?


It is way too early to be talking specifics about the Minnesota Twins payroll this offseason – except that it is not. With the trade deadline approaching, and several trade candidates being among the most highly paid players on the team, taking a quick peek ahead becomes mandatory. So let's take a way-too-early, back-of-the-napkin view of where things sit right now.

 

The Lineup ($56M)
The bad news this year was the Twins had to empty the St. Paul Saints roster to cover for all the Twins' injuries. The good news is that many of those players will be available to fill in for departing free agents like Nelson Cruz and Andrelton Simmons. With a bit of reshuffling, the default lineup likely looks like this:

2022 Player  $M   Type 
C Garver  $           3.80 arbitration
1B Kirilloff?  $           0.60 team control
2B Arraez  $           0.60 team control
3B Donaldson  $         21.00 contract
SS Polanco  $           5.00 contract
LF Larnach  $           0.60 team control
CF Buxton  $           8.50 arbitration
RF Kepler  $           6.75 contract
DH Sano  $         12.00 contract

 

The Bench ($2.8M)
Will the Twins try to add depth with a capable 10th man this offseason? Maybe. Until then, the bench looks like this:

2022 Player    Type 
C OF Rooker/Galick  $           0.60 team control
M IF Gordon  $           0.60 team control
C Jeffers  $           0.60 team control
Other Astudillo  $           1.00 arbitration

 

The Rotation ($20.0M)

The Twins will need to focus on the rotation this offseason, seeing as J.A. Happ, Matt Shoemaker, and Michael Pineda are all free agents. Let's fill in those spots for now with minor leaguers like Bailey Ober, Randy Dobnak, and Jhoan Duran, and anticipate several of them will be replaced by acquisitions this offseason.

2022 Player    Type 
SP Maeda  $           9.00 contract
SP Berrios  $           9.00 arbitration
SP Ober  $           0.60 team control
SP Dobnak  $           0.80 team control
SP Duran  $           0.60 team control

 

The Bullpen ($14.5M)
The bullpen losses some free agents too, and there were already lots of gaps to fill. Even though he's expensive, we'll assume Taylor Rogers returns because there are just so many other spots to fill. If so, the bullpen looks something like this:

2022 Player    Type 
Closer Rogers  $           7.50 arbitration
RH MR Duffey  $           3.00 arbitration
RH MR Alcala  $           0.60 team control
RH MR Farrell  $           0.60 team control
LH MR Thielbar  $           1.00 arbitration
RH MR Stashak  $           0.60 team control
Swing Smeltzer  $           0.60 team control
Other Thorpe  $           0.60 team control


That's a decent amount of money, but they also have many spots to fill. They must address the rotation, definitely need to upgrade their bullpen, might want to improve their defense, or even try and bring back Nelson Cruz again.

To Spend  ($35-45M?)
Add those all up, and the Twins existing payroll comes in at about $96M. They spent about $130M last year, so they will have about $35M to spend if they match that. If they increase it by 10% - a reasonable assumption if they want to keep their competitive window open, they could be closer to $45M to spend.

The trade deadline could change a lot of this, too.  Josh Donaldson, Jose Berrios, and Byron Buxton will be among the most expensive players on the roster next year. Moving any of them could free up money for more free agents. Of course, that would also create other spots they need to fill. 


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I like the young players in the rotation, but the BP looks really weak and I have no confidence in Smeltzer and Thorpe (very little in Dobnak either).  As usual I prefer young players and home grown when possible.  Approaching this mid season trade deadline I would love to see them move Donaldson and I think Garver is a really good trade chip in a league where catchers are so valuable.  I am happy with Jeffers and Rortvedt.    
 

I never get into the actual dollars - not my talent, but I am hoping Berrios and Buxton get extended and shedding Donaldson would really help doing that. 

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You can subtract your bottom 5 relievers with 2 - 3 rookies and hopefully a good FA signing or two.  Most of that should happen this year with cutting bait on Smeltzer, Farrell, Stachek, Thorpe, and maybe Thielbar (hopefully trade him to a team that needs bullpen help this year (most contenders do).   Starting pitching needs an upgrade unless this is a total teardown, but the good news is the offense does not need more money.  Garver as stated about is a very good trade chip, and probably should go that way. 

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40 minutes ago, beckmt said:

You can subtract your bottom 5 relievers with 2 - 3 rookies and hopefully a good FA signing or two.  Most of that should happen this year with cutting bait on Smeltzer, Farrell, Stachek, Thorpe, and maybe Thielbar (hopefully trade him to a team that needs bullpen help this year (most contenders do).   Starting pitching needs an upgrade unless this is a total teardown, but the good news is the offense does not need more money.  Garver as stated about is a very good trade chip, and probably should go that way. 

I disagree, I would like to see the Twins go after one of the top-end SSs on the market.

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So many unknowns, John.  Really about 41 days too soon to think about this.  

The Twins lost a ton of money in 2020.  The Pohlads stepped up and said they are treating it as a one time loss and won't try to recover it by cutting future payrolls.  With the early season COVID restrictions and now poor play, 2021 attendance is going to be low.  Will they surpass 1,000,000?  With a $130M+/- payroll, that means another healthy loss, although it could be reduced should they move a couple bigger contracts at the deadline.  Hopefully, they will approach next year as this year and treat the 2021 losses as a sunk cost.

I like the lineup you have projected for 2021 and can see the Twins fielding a competitive team while spending less than 2021, perhaps much less.  But we won't have a good feel for what the ownership/FO will be doing until after the trading deadline.

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32 minutes ago, beckmt said:

So might some of us, but not going to happen.  Would much prefer they put their money into pitching.  Pitching wins.

Pitching wins, but is very expensive when buying in the free agent market .   A starting short stop would be be my top priority, unless Royce is deemed ready to fill that spot.  And then pitching.  My question is.  In this era of getting 5 innings from a starter and then running out 4-5 relievers every game, wouldn’t bullpen arms be a better investment than throwing 10-15 million at a starter?

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1 minute ago, yeahyabetcha said:

Pitching wins, but is very expensive when buying in the free agent market .   A starting short stop would be be my top priority, unless Royce is deemed ready to fill that spot.  And then pitching.  My question is.  In this era of getting 5 innings from a starter and then running out 4-5 relievers every game, wouldn’t bullpen arms be a better investment than throwing 10-15 million at a starter?

Yes, but key here is whether Berrios is extended or traded.  If he will not sign here you are more into a rebuild (especially if Buxton will not sign either), We need to find out if any of the 4 - 5 decent starter prospects will pan out (best guess is 1 - 2).  That will lower the spend.  We may get lucky and find 3, but we need to know.  That is what the rest of this season is about.  Look at Cleveland, they always seem to find enough pitching to be above .500, we need to go that route.

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I don’t think spending money is really the issue. Some players don’t want to come here (Marcus Semien).  They have gotten poor performance from some they did pay (Donaldson, Sano, Kepler, Colome). 
 

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1 hour ago, roger said:

So many unknowns, John.  Really about 41 days too soon to think about this.  

The Twins lost a ton of money in 2020.  The Pohlads stepped up and said they are treating it as a one time loss and won't try to recover it by cutting future payrolls.  With the early season COVID restrictions and now poor play, 2021 attendance is going to be low.  Will they surpass 1,000,000?  With a $130M+/- payroll, that means another healthy loss, although it could be reduced should they move a couple bigger contracts at the deadline.  Hopefully, they will approach next year as this year and treat the 2021 losses as a sunk cost.

I like the lineup you have projected for 2021 and can see the Twins fielding a competitive team while spending less than 2021, perhaps much less.  But we won't have a good feel for what the ownership/FO will be doing until after the trading deadline.

It's probably about 100 days too early.  The relative progress in developing starting pitching and BP options for that matter are likely to weigh heavily into how much the spend and what they spend it on.  Next year is sunk IMO if they don't develop two SPs that can be mid rotation types or better and they will need to be relied on next year.  I don't consider Dobnak to be a reliable option to even fill a spot but he certainly could become a decent back of the rotation option.

If they don't develop two SPs this year I think they have to hope Maeda bounces back and they land an free agent SP as good or better than Berrios if they are going to win the division and have any shot in the post season.  They would need to do something with the BP because that group won't cut it.

 

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I think most of us went into this season feeling real good about our roster.  Well, that obviously didn't turn out as planned.  But,  I still like the looks of this roster, for the most part, on paper.  I would like to see next years roster look something similar to this.

C - Jeffers, Rortvedt with Garver being traded.

1b - Kirilloff/Sano with Sano possibly being traded.  2b - Polanco/Araez,  3b - Donaldson/Araez,  SS - Simons/Gordon with hopes for Lewis.

OF - Buxton, Larnach, Kirilloff, Kepler

Sp - Berrios, Maeda, Pineda, (Ober/Balazovic/Duran/Canterino/Enlow), and a FA like a (Duffy/Strohman/ Gausman).

Rp -  Rogers, Duffy, Robles, Alcala, and go big on FA's with Hand, Rosenthal, Yates, Bradley.  This is where we need to spend some money.   

I have no idea what this would bring the payroll to, but I'm thinking it could be do-able. (if we truly want to contend for a WS.)  Am I delirious?

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1 hour ago, Eris said:

I don’t think spending money is really the issue. Some players don’t want to come here (Marcus Semien).  They have gotten poor performance from some they did pay (Donaldson, Sano, Kepler, Colome). 
 

I disagree, Semien got $16M from Toronto and the Twins weren’t willing to pay that much. It’s almost always about money over the team/Minnesota.

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It seems like it will always be about money.

 

If the Twins can't Pay Buxton and Berrios, then I hold little hope that they would splurge (and they could afford to do so) by paying Donaldson numbers for a VERY TOP of the line rotation arm, as well as getting a real bonifide closer.

Otherwise, the roster looks pretty darn serviceable. Of course, Sano will still strikeout. Rooker may have passed his need by the Twins. Royce Lewis has to be considered the shortstop of the future (or is he). 

 

The Twins could open 2022 with around a $100 million payroll, 1/5th of it going to Donaldson. They may be okay, depending on how the young arms perform, which is why one hopes they can get a half dozen starts to Duran and Balazovic or maybe even barnes or someone else this season.

 

But it all returns to how they handle Berrios and Buxton. Both can stay and play oin 2022, but if theya ren't signed longterm, I don't expect them to be back.

 

The Twins can raid the dollar store and get an arm or two, or maybe spend a little more and bring back Pineda and Robles if not outbid in the fair market. Hey, maybe Jake Odorizzi, Hector Santiago, Ervin Santana will also be available. I know Bartolo Colon is!

 

You have to spend money to win, usually on the best players available. You can fill in holes like the Twins did this season, but did they really get the best of the free agents who actually outshine the best they have on their own roster in 2021?

 

 

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I can see the Twins resigning Pineda, and Cruz.  if they let Cruz leave, I think they would plan on trying to sign one of the SS in FA.  I think Pineda holds appeal because he can be had on a shorter term deal with his age and injury history.  I can see a 2 year 26-30 million for him.  I am not ready to give up on this season either as I think the Twins could get back in it with their key players comming back from injury.  They would need one of Ober or Dobnak to step up but if the Twins would go out and trade for a shut down reliever they could climb up the standings. What ever happened to the Twins top pitching prospects Balazovich and Duran?  Are they close to helping?

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A lot of posters seem to dismiss Rooker as a lost cause.  But I would prefer him hitting .200, hitting 20 home runs, and making $600K than Sano hitting .180, hitting 35 home runs, and making $12M.  The savings of $11.4M could be put to good use elsewhere.

Edited by terrydactyls
Autocorrect screwed the message
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The window for contending has closed.

To contend for a World Series they need more pitching than they can afford. Minimally they needs number 1 , a number 4, a closer and two other good bullpen arms. They will also need a bat. I get that they can be competitive next year with less but next year should be about the expected growing pains of a young staff as they transition from the oldest staff in the AL.

Extend Buxton and Berrios. Front load if necessary. Go through the growing pains of a young team.

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What I'd like to see in "theory."

C   JEFFERS      RORTVEDT  (Garver traded for pitching SP/BP)

1B   KIRILOFF     (SANO TRADED for whatever they can get)

2B   POLANCO/ARRAEZ

3B   ARRAEZ  (Donaldson traded).

SS  FA Signed.  STORY---The high end.  BAEZ---The low end.

OF   LARNACH--BUXTON--KIRILOFF--KEPLER

(I would do what is needed to keep Buxton and Berrios.  They are the cornerstones you would build around)

(Possibly trade Kepler if the deal is "right."

SP   BERRIOS, MAEDA, OBER, DURAN---2 FA signings.  Someone like a Gausman/Stroman/Duffy and a lower end vet.

BP   TAYLOR ROGERS, DUFFEY, ALCALA, ROBLES--not as a closer, and I agree, 2 more FA BP signings with one of them being the guy that would be our closer.  I really wanted Rosenthal or Yates...and both got hurt very early, so I would have wasted the money this year.  But I still think one of those two as the presumptive closer and another steady vet arm to help stabilize the BP.  

I want to see CHANGE.  I've loved Cruz as our DH but when the N.L. opens up 15 more slots he can go elsewhere and the DH spot can have many players rotate through.  I say goodbye to Sano. PERIOD.  The Twins are not as BAD as they've played this season, but they have a LOT of flaws.  Build around Buxton and Berrios, cut bait on guys like Sano, Donaldson, and possibly Kepler.  

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"How much can the Twins spend this offseason?"

Can, will, should, or will are all different determinations. Every fan has a different idea. My best guess is that the Twins can spend $150 million for 2022. I would not be surprised if they spend $100 million. As a Twins fan since 1961, my expectations are simple. I would like to see an emphasis on pitching and defense, but what the Twins will  spend may not come close to what they can spend.

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1 hour ago, TopGunn#22 said:

What I'd like to see in "theory."

C   JEFFERS      RORTVEDT  (Garver traded for pitching SP/BP)

1B   KIRILOFF     (SANO TRADED for whatever they can get)

2B   POLANCO/ARRAEZ

3B   ARRAEZ  (Donaldson traded).

SS  FA Signed.  STORY---The high end.  BAEZ---The low end.

OF   LARNACH--BUXTON--KIRILOFF--KEPLER

(I would do what is needed to keep Buxton and Berrios.  They are the cornerstones you would build around)

(Possibly trade Kepler if the deal is "right."

SP   BERRIOS, MAEDA, OBER, DURAN---2 FA signings.  Someone like a Gausman/Stroman/Duffy and a lower end vet.

BP   TAYLOR ROGERS, DUFFEY, ALCALA, ROBLES--not as a closer, and I agree, 2 more FA BP signings with one of them being the guy that would be our closer.  I really wanted Rosenthal or Yates...and both got hurt very early, so I would have wasted the money this year.  But I still think one of those two as the presumptive closer and another steady vet arm to help stabilize the BP.  

I want to see CHANGE.  I've loved Cruz as our DH but when the N.L. opens up 15 more slots he can go elsewhere and the DH spot can have many players rotate through.  I say goodbye to Sano. PERIOD.  The Twins are not as BAD as they've played this season, but they have a LOT of flaws.  Build around Buxton and Berrios, cut bait on guys like Sano, Donaldson, and possibly Kepler.  

I like it but there is one other thing I would love to see.  That's Miranda here early in 2022 to take over 3B.  He hit two more HRS today and his OPS is now 948.  I am really cheering for this guy to continue his current success and get even better.  He looks like the Twins minor league break-out player of 2021.  That would be a real boost.  It would great if Gordon continues to push him for that honor and DeLa Trinidad is all the sudden a hitting machine too.  He is batting .328 with a 946 OPS.

We could also have a fantastic bench with great flexibility next year.  If Miranda did take over 3rd at some point we potentially have Arraez / Refsnyder / Gordon as bench players.

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4 minutes ago, Major League Ready said:

I like it but there is one other thing I would love to see.  That's Miranda here early in 2022 to take over 3B.  He hit two more HRS today and his OPS is now 948.  I am really cheering for this guy to continue his current success and get even better.  That would be a real boost.  

I think Miranda is more like mid 2022 or 2023 if he can make it.  He needs to move to AAA and see how he handles it the second half of the season.  Pitchers there have more variety of pitches including decent offspeed.  

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4 minutes ago, beckmt said:

I think Miranda is more like mid 2022 or 2023 if he can make it.  He needs to move to AAA and see how he handles it the second half of the season.  Pitchers there have more variety of pitches including decent offspeed.  

I could see them moving him up after the deadline if by some miracle they trade Donaldson.  I am assuming he would not start the season at the MLB level.  That said hopefully the undertone of this is my hope came through.  A man can dream.

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2 hours ago, Rosterman said:

It seems like it will always be about money.

Which is precisely why the Twins need to be careful in the trade and free agent market.  The odds are going to favor teams with cash.  It's always harder to win playing to an opponent's strength.

It's easy to say, "this player should be traded" or, "that free agent should be signed," but the Twins will never be that kind of ball club unless busloads of people living on the left and right coasts decide that life is better in the Upper Midwest.

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3 minutes ago, VivaBomboRivera! said:

Which is precisely why the Twins need to be careful in the trade and free agent market.  The odds are going to favor teams with cash.  It's always harder to win playing to an opponent's strength.

It's easy to say, "this player should be traded" or, "that free agent should be signed," but the Twins will never be that kind of ball club unless busloads of people living on the left and right coasts decide that life is better in the Upper Midwest.

That could happen if the virtual office stays for some companies.  It is what is driving the housing market in the Twin Cities and Duluth at this time.

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Upon further review.... as I pay attention to this.....many of the "numbers" quoted for 2022 salaries are incorrect or projections from arbitration.

My source is:  Spotrac.com/ mlb team payrolls

Garver is NOT making 3.8mill for 2022.  He's making $1.875 mill this season.  He  could get that increase for 2022, but I doubt it.

Polanco:  making $5.50 mill for 2022-------not $5.0 mill

Sano: As noted by another----is NOT making $12 mill next year-----he's guaranteed (ugh!!) $9.25m. Has $14.25m CLUB option for 2023.  

Buxton:  Is NOT guaranteed $8.5m for next year as he's ARB4 eligible.  Making $5.125mill for 2021.  If Twins can't sign him long term....I wouldn't be shocked to see Buxton (if he can stay healthy for remainder of this season) file for at least $10mill in arbitration.

Rogers:  Making $6.0 mill this season. Like Buxton is approaching his last year (4) of arbitration. $7.5 mill is a projection.

Berrios:  Making $6.1mill this season. Entering 3rd year of arbitration. $9.0 mill, again is a projection through arbitration process.  Like Buxton, I could see Berrios filing at $10mill plus in arbitration.

 

 

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4 hours ago, TopGunn#22 said:

BP   TAYLOR ROGERS, DUFFEY, ALCALA, ROBLES--not as a closer, and I agree, 2 more FA BP signings with one of them being the guy that would be our closer.  I really wanted Rosenthal or Yates...and both got hurt very early, so I would have wasted the money this year.  But I still think one of those two as the presumptive closer and another steady vet arm to help stabilize the BP.  

Question: Could we see Edwar Colina in next year’s pen?

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