The “new car smell” has vanished from Target Field. As the Twins cruise toward their third consecutive 90-loss season, crowds have dwindled and the talk has turned to the Vikings. Yes, there is reason for hope: Prospects such as Byron Buxton, Miguel Sano, Alex Meyer, as well as new Twin Josmil Pinto, all hopefully will become solid big leaguers. Prospects, though, are uncertain, and it’s unlikely all will pan out.

This leaves the Twins in a precarious position. On the one hand, the team hosts the 2014 All-Star Game. It is banking on fans renewing their season ticket packages or becoming new season-ticket holders, with the promise of coveted All-Star tickets in return. If the organization is successful, it’s money in the bank and another year of profit. On the other hand, I’m curious to find out for how many years the organization can field a pathetic product using the mantra, “Target Field offers one of the best fan experiences in all of professional sports.” I suspect that 2014, even with the All-Star Game, might be the breaking point.

There is, however, a solution: money. The Pohlad family can, at least partly, cure this problem by opening up the wallet this offseason. Good starting pitching is an expensive but necessary component of any competitive team. Unlike previous offseasons, where the Twins “bargain-shopped” for pitching (and saw little return), the time has come to pony up. Fans deserve better than to pay to watch the Twins waste the rest of Joe Mauer’s prime.

ANDREW E. WALTER, Simsbury, Conn.