Sid Hartman: Deferred money might be one way to keep Hunter

  • Article by: SID HARTMAN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: July 26, 2007 - 10:58 PM

The Pohlads should look into the extension of Seattle's Ichiro Suzuki and see if such a deal could be arranged for the Twins' popular center fielder.

The original announcement out of Seattle reported that outfielder Ichiro Suzuki had signed a five-year contract calling for $90 million, and the reaction here was that Ichiro's large contract killed any chance of the Twins signing Torii Hunter, who will be a free agent at the end of the year.

Ichiro is as popular in Seattle as Hunter is here, maybe more so because of the huge Japanese population there.

But Ichiro's contract was not as lucrative as it seemed, because $5 million of Ichiro's salary each year will be deferred at 5.5 percent interest. That money will be paid to him starting when he retires and extending until at least 2032. So the dollars will be worth a lot less when he gets those deferred checks.

Ichiro received a $5 million signing bonus. He will be paid $12 million per season between 2008 and 2012, with $5 million per year deferred. The money deferred will be paid to him in annual installments every Jan. 30, beginning the season after his retirement.

Would the Twins consider that type of contract with Hunter?

Twins General Manager Terry Ryan said: "I don't know about what they've got deferred out there, but there is danger with those because if you get too many of them, you're really passing the buck on the future of the organization. But I guess Seattle, you know, with the ownership there, they felt comfortable doing it, and we've had that in the past. We've done that with a couple of players. It's been some time ago, but we have.

"That's an ownership call, that's not a call for a general manager. It's depending on what kind of length and what kind of dollars and what kind of interest rate is about what it comes down to."

Then Ryan added: "I can assure you that the contract status of a player over here, it's not going to depend on deferred money. Any player, I don't care if it's Torii or any player you're talking about, it wouldn't be deferred money that would hinder or help."

Well, the Pohlads, owners of the Twins, are a $2 billion corporation with 26 companies, and I would guess they are in a position to do a deferred contract with Hunter better than most team ownerships.

Birk makes a difference

It was the NFL draft of 1968. I was there. The expansion Cincinnati Bengals had the second pick in the draft, after the Vikings had taken tackle Ron Yary from USC. When club owner Paul Brown announced he was taking center Bob Johnson of Tennessee rather than a top quarterback, running back or defensive back, there was silence in the crowd.

That's how important one of the real geniuses in football considered the center position. And that is one reason why the Vikings offense will be a lot better this year because Matt Birk -- who missed the 2005 season because of an injury and played not quite up to his Pro Bowl form in 2006 -- will be back to being one of the best centers in football.

"There were some question marks last year, and I played light just because my body felt better and I wasn't sure how it would react to being out there again, but I feel great now," Birk said. "Coach [Brad Childress] told me I was the only offensive player to play every single offensive snap last year, so I think that answers any questions about my health. And now I'm back up to about 320 pounds and feeling strong and feeling good and looking to have a great year."

Speaking of the Vikings' 6-10 record last season, Birk said: "I wouldn't put the blame on the coaches, but just what I'd say is again it's a new system, it's new coaches, it's new techniques of teaching.

"You get a couple new guys in the offensive line with [Steve] Hutchinson and Artis Hicks ... it's just a lot of moving parts there. We just didn't adjust or didn't get used to each other as quickly as we would have liked.

"And I think too, again, that's why this offseason is so good because now we can kind of take a step back, take a deep breath and kind of really go through things slowly, thoroughly and just kind of make sure now that everyone's on the same page. Not that there was mass confusion last year, but it's just kind of nice to have that year under your belt and make mistakes and learn from them."

Jottings

The big mystery as the 2007-08 Gophers men's basketball season approaches is why it appears forward/center Bryce Webster, the top high school recruit in Minnesota before last season, will no longer play college basketball after only his freshman year. Friends say he has lost his heart for the game. Webster reportedly has refused to consult with people he was close to in the past, and the Gophers coaching staff is waiting for his final decision. But it looks as if he won't be back in a Gophers uniform.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Baltimore - LP: K. Gausman 1 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - WP: J. Arrieta 4
Houston - WP: T. Sipp 5 FINAL
Cleveland - LP: C. Allen 1
San Francisco - WP: T. Hudson 10 FINAL
Washington - LP: D. Fister 3
St. Louis - LP: A. Wainwright 4 FINAL
Philadelphia - WP: K. Kendrick 5
Chicago WSox - LP: D. Webb 3 FINAL
NY Yankees - WP: D. Robertson 4
Tampa Bay - WP: D. Smyly 8 FINAL
Toronto - LP: M. Stroman 0
Atlanta - WP: D. Hale 3 FINAL
Cincinnati - LP: M. Parra 1
Seattle - WP: D. Leone 5 FINAL
Boston - LP: K. Uehara 3
Kansas City - WP: Y. Ventura 6 FINAL
Texas - LP: C. Lewis 3
Pittsburgh - WP: J. Locke 8 FINAL
Milwaukee - LP: Y. Gallardo 3
Detroit - LP: R. Ray 6 FINAL
Minnesota - WP: R. Pressly 20
Miami - WP: H. Alvarez 13 FINAL
Colorado - LP: F. Morales 5
San Diego - LP: O. Despaigne 1 FINAL
Arizona - WP: J. Collmenter 5
LA Angels - LP: J. Grilli 3 FINAL
Oakland - WP: S. Gray 5
NY Mets - LP: J. Niese 2 FINAL
Los Angeles - WP: D. Haren 6
Carolina 7 FINAL
New England 30
NY Giants 35 FINAL
NY Jets 24
Jacksonville 12 FINAL
Detroit 13
Oakland 21 FINAL
Green Bay 31
Chicago 6 FINAL
Seattle 34
Tampa Bay 3:30 PM
Buffalo
Tennessee 6:00 PM
Atlanta
Dallas 6:00 PM
Miami
Washington 6:30 PM
Baltimore
New Orleans 7:00 PM
Indianapolis
Minnesota 7:00 PM
Kansas City
St. Louis 7:00 PM
Cleveland
Houston 8:00 PM
Denver
San Diego 8/24/14 3:00 PM
San Francisco
Cincinnati 8/24/14 7:00 PM
Arizona
Atlanta 8/28/14 5:00 PM
Jacksonville
Detroit 8/28/14 6:00 PM
Buffalo
Indianapolis 8/28/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Kansas City 8/28/14 6:00 PM
Green Bay
NY Jets 8/28/14 6:00 PM
Philadelphia
St. Louis 8/28/14 6:00 PM
Miami
Carolina 8/28/14 6:30 PM
Pittsburgh
New England 8/28/14 6:30 PM
NY Giants
Washington 8/28/14 6:30 PM
Tampa Bay
Baltimore 8/28/14 7:00 PM
New Orleans
Chicago 8/28/14 7:00 PM
Cleveland
Denver 8/28/14 7:00 PM
Dallas
Minnesota 8/28/14 7:00 PM
Tennessee
San Francisco 8/28/14 7:00 PM
Houston
Arizona 8/28/14 9:00 PM
San Diego
Seattle 8/28/14 9:00 PM
Oakland
(21) Texas A&M 8/28/14 5:00 PM
(9) So Carolina
Wake Forest 8/28/14 6:00 PM
ULM
Boise State 8/28/14 7:00 PM
(18) Ole Miss
Tulane 8/28/14 7:00 PM
Tulsa
Temple 8/28/14 8:15 PM
Vanderbilt
Rutgers 8/28/14 9:00 PM
Washington St
Weber State 8/28/14 9:30 PM
(19) Arizona State
BYU 8/29/14 6:00 PM
Connecticut
(6) Jacksonville St 8/29/14 6:30 PM
(8) Michigan State
Bowling Green 8/29/14 6:30 PM
Western Ky
TX-San Antonio 8/29/14 8:00 PM
Houston
Colorado State 8/29/14 8:00 PM
Colorado
UNLV 8/29/14 9:30 PM
Arizona
UCF 8/30/14 7:30 AM
Penn State
Real Salt Lake 1 FINAL
FC Dallas 2
Montreal 16 FINAL
Winnipeg 24
Toronto 3:00 PM
Edmonton
Calgary 8/24/14 2:00 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 8/24/14 6:00 PM
Brt Columbia
Ottawa 8/29/14 6:30 PM
Montreal
Winnipeg 8/31/14 2:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Toronto 9/1/14 12:00 PM
Hamilton
Edmonton 9/1/14 3:30 PM
Calgary
Chicago 80 FINAL
Atlanta 77
Los Angeles 72 FINAL
Phoenix 75

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How closely will you follow the Lynx in the WNBA playoffs?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close