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The Monetary Case for Urgency

  • Blog Post by: John Bonnes
  • September 8, 2010 - 11:12 PM

 

Enjoying the Twins run this year? Me too. Soak it in. We may not see a team this loaded for years to come.
 
In yesterday’s Star-Tribune, Bill Smith said he has “quit looking” at the Twins budget, which is great news. Now, if we can just get someone to hide those numbers from Smith’s eyes two months from now. Because the team Smith and his office have done such a nice job of pulling together is about to get very expensive – as in dwarfing-the-New-York-Mets kind of expensive.
 
If the Twins wanted to keep together this roster of players, their payroll would need to surge up about $50M to approximately $143M. That would be a $78M and 220% increase in payroll from two years ago. That is beyond unrealistic. It’s cartoonish.
 
What would be a more realistic number? The Twins entered the year with about a $97.6 million payroll according to USAToday. (It’s likely a little lower than that because even though the Twins took on some salaries during the year, they also received $9M back from insurance for Nathan’s injury). That’s up $32M over 2008 because of the anticipated revenue from the new stadium. There might be some additional revenue squeezed out of it next year, and there usually is a MLB wide increase too. 10% seem reasonable. $15-20% would be pretty aggressive but maybe not outside the realm of possibility.
 
That would put the payroll numbers at:
+10% = $107M
+15% = $112M
+20% = $117M
 
If you're asking me, I'd guess no more than $110 million. But go with whichever you want.
 
And now we get to the part of the story where you get to play along a little. Below are the back-of-the-napkin numbers for next year’s team that total up to $143M in salary. In the comments below, tell us who you’re going to lose from next year’s roster. They need to total at least $25M and maybe close to $35M.
 
Pos
Player
2011 $M
Notes
C
Mauer
$23.00
guaranteed
1B
Morneau
$14.00
guaranteed
2B
Hudson
$6.00
approximate - free agent
SS
Hardy
$7.00
approximate - arbitration
3B
Valencia
$0.40
approximate
LF
Young
$6.00
approximate - arbitration
CF
Span
$1.00
guaranteed
RF
Cuddyer
$10.50
guaranteed
DH
Kubel
$5.20
team option
4th OF
Repko
$0.90
approximate
Bench
Thome
$5.00
approximate - free agent
R IF
Harris
$1.75
guaranteed
R IF
Punto
$1.00
approximate - free agent
Other
Casilla
$1.00
approximate - arbitration
SP1
Pavano
$9.00
approximate - free agent
SP2
Liriano
$5.00
approximate - arbitration
SP3
Baker
$5.00
guaranteed
SP4
Blackburn
$3.00
guaranteed
SP5
Slowey
$2.00
approximate - arbitration
Closer
Capps
$7.00
approximate - arbitration
MR
Nathan
$12.50
guaranteed
MR
Fuentes
$9.00
team option
MR
Rauch
$2.00
approximate - free agent
MR
Crain
$2.50
approximate - free agent
MR
Guerrier
$2.50
approximate - free agent
MR
Mijares
$0.45
approximate
MR
Neshek
$0.80
approximate - arbitration
MR
Duensing
$0.45
approximate
 
Enjoy that little exercise, did you? Me neither.
 
In this light, there is a monetary case for the urgency the Twins front office has displayed so far this season. It makes sense to spend and extra $2M on Jim Thome to add depth in the offseason. It makes sense to stretch the budget a few million to get Orlando Hudson in February. It makes sense to give up Wilson Ramos for Matt Capps and to take on Brian Fuentes' bad contract (and back) for the rest of the season.
 
This team is built to win now. And while they should continue to win in the future, it’s likely that Twins fans aren’t going to see a team loaded with this much talent again for some time.
 
So enjoy this year’s run. No matter how it ends, it’ll likely be a lot more fun than the offseason is going to be.
 

 
More Stuff
 
First, if you haven't had your Thome fix for the day, Twins fan Brandon Warne has penned a free story on Baseball Prospectus about why Thome's historic numbers might actually be underappreciated. 
 
Bat Girl is tweeting? Yippee.
 
Parker thinks JJ Hardy will be back next year, and be sure to check out Seth's and Nick's blogs too.
 
Finally, Seth will be on KFAN AM 1130 this morning talking Twins at about 9:20 today (I presume) and I'll be on tomorrow morning at 7:20 AM to get The Powertrip guys to pay a little attention to baseball. I hope you can listen in?
 
 
 
 

 

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