Any payroll limitations are self-imposed in baseball, since there is no salary cap. Even if the Twins set a goal of spending 50 percent of revenue on payroll, they could spend 60 or 70 percent if they wanted.
Here, though, it's also important to remember that free agency is a two-way street. The Twins might want to make a serious run at Bryce Harper or Manny Machado, but do those players really want to come here? It can be cold at the start and end of the season, and it's certainly cold in the offseason. There are plenty of nice summer days, but there are also plenty of hot and humid ones. If players are being honest, this is not a top free agency destination.
That said, there are ways around that beyond just drafting and developing players — most notably trading for a big-ticket player on a long-term contract and supplementing with mid-level free agents.
Read Michael Rand's blog at startribune.com/randball. firstname.lastname@example.org.