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Wednesday (Ellsbury to Yankees a reminder of what the Twins face) edition: Wha' Happened?

Posted by: Michael Rand under Professional baseball, Twins fans Updated: December 4, 2013 - 9:43 AM

Tuesday was a banner day for the Twins. The introduced new starting pitcher Ricky Nolasco to the media, formally announcing the richest outside free agent deal in club history by a long shot. Nolasco will get $12 million each of the next four seasons, and the Twins hope he anchors a much-improved rotation.

But as big of a deal as that news conference was Tuesday afternoon, there was a reality check less than 24 hours later. The Yankees once again opened their giant checkbook and reportedly agreed to terms with free agent outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury on a 7-year, $153 million deal. This makes Ellsbury the next Johnny Damon when it comes to Beantown Betrayal.

It also represents more than triple in total value what the Twins paid for Nolasco, and nobody really bats an eyelash when the Yankees do it.

All of this, too, while the Yankees are reportedly trying to cut payroll.

Then again, the Yankees' version of cutting down means getting just under the $189 million luxury tax threshold. Even if New York wound up at, say, $185 million for next season, they would still dwarf the Twins and many other teams.

This isn't news, just review -- and a reminder that on a day the Twins spent twice as much as they ever have on a free agent, it was learned the Yankees have committed to spending more than three times that pumped up figure. We wrote a couple months back about spending vs. winning and the correlation. Again, what it comes down to in our mind is this: If the Twins are wrong about Nolasco and he flops, that is a devastating blow to their hopes. If the Yankees miss on a guy like Nolasco, they can always buy another one.

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