FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The Twins have a payroll that’s more than $15 million higher than last year’s but Jim Pohlad said that doesn’t mean the team would be unwilling to spend even more later this season if the team is in playoff contention.

    “That would be a great situation,” Pohlad said Friday. “We would be totally flexible.”

    The Twins are currently projected to spend more than $100 million for the first time in three years, after fielding a payroll of about $85 million last year.

    So will the Twins surprise MLB forecasters and join a pennant race this year, after four straight seasons of 90-plus losses? Pohlad said he’s starting to become a believer.

    “Something feels different this year,” he said. “We felt [optimistic] in ’13 and ’14, too, but relative to how we felt those years, it does feel different. So I think there’s a lot of optimism and excitement.”

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