The Twins' streak of avoiding arbitration with their players reached 10 years on Monday, when third baseman Trevor Plouffe agreed to a $7.25 million contract for 2016.
Plouffe's contract means the Twins have now reached agreement with all six arbitration-eligible players. Minnesota hasn't required an arbitration hearing to settle a contract dispute since Kyle Lohse took them to a hearing in 2006.
Plouffe had asked for $7.95 million, while the Twins offered $7 million when proposals were exchanged on Jan. 15. He took somewhat less than the $7.45 million midpoint, but still receives a 51 percent raise over last year's $4.8 million salary. That makes Plouffe the fifth-highest paid Twin for 2016, and second-highest-paid position player, after Joe Mauer.
The Twins wrapped up their six arbitration contracts for $22,962,500, a 61 percent increase over their half-dozen cases in 2015 but still $2-3 million less in total than some estimates had projected.
The Twins now have 14 players under contract for 2016, a group set to earn roughly $98.5 million. With nothing but minimum-salary contracts remaining (worth $507,500 each, though the Twins generally dole out modest increases over that figure), unless they choose to sign someone to a multi-year deal, the Twins’ opening day roster projects to total about $104.5 million, a decline of roughly $3.5 million (or 2.6 percent) from 2015’s $108 million payroll.