Much has been made of the seven former Twins who have been chosen for this year’s All-Star Game (as opposed to the two current Twins who made it).
We thought it would be interesting to imagine not just how Minnesota’s lineup, rotation and bullpen might look if all of these guys were still on the team, but also figure out the Twins’ payroll in 2013 in that scenario. Keep in mind the seven All-Stars departed for various reasons, so this is merely an exercise in fun:
• The players: Michael Cuddyer (OF), Carlos Gomez (OF), Torii Hunter (OF), J.J. Hardy (SS), David Ortiz (DH), Jesse Crain (RP), Joe Nathan (RP).
• The lineup: If the Twins had all three of those outfielders, they wouldn’t have signed Josh Willingham. Aaron Hicks or Oswaldo Arcia might be here as a fourth outfielder, but not both. Ryan Doumit wouldn’t have a regular spot in the lineup with Ortiz here, so signing him would not have made much sense. And Hardy would be in at short instead of Pedro Florimon. So we’ll go with: 1) Gomez, CF 2) Joe Mauer, C 3) Cuddyer, RF 4) Ortiz, DH 5) Hunter, LF 6) Justin Morneau, 1B 7) Hardy, SS 8) Trevor Plouffe, 3B 9) Brian Dozier, 2B.
• The bullpen: A back end of the ’pen featuring Crain, Nathan and Glen Perkins would be mighty nice.
• The rotation: Completely unchanged, which is unfortunate.
• The money: Here’s where things get tricky. The Twins would be spending almost $100 million on 10 players based on 2013 salaries, per baseball-reference.com: Cuddyer ($10.5 million); Gomez ($4.3 million); Mauer ($23 million); Hunter ($12 million); Hardy ($7 million); Ortiz ($14 million ); Crain ($4.5 million); Nathan ($7 million); Perkins ($2.5 million); Morneau ($14 million).
The rest of the Twins’ 2013 roster minus Mauer, Morneau, Perkins (already included) as well as Willingham and Doumit (probably not signed) and a handful of other close-to-minimum salary guys replaced by the All-Stars still makes about $30 million.
So Minnesota would have had a $130 million payroll, with the exact same starting rotation. Would you rather have that or this year’s $80 million team? Wait, don’t answer that — just know that it probably would have been fun, if not practical.