If the Twins re-sign Michael Cuddyer, that will push their 2012 payroll commitments very close to the $100 million target that GM Terry Ryan announced after replacing Bill Smith three weeks ago.

Cuddyer made $10.5 million last year, and looking at the Twins projected 25-man Opening Day roster -- using all in-house candidates, excluding Cuddyer and the other free agents -- their projected payroll is $87.7 million.

We do this exercise from time to time because it's a good reminder how the roster is shaping up. As I've written, the Twins have sent mixed messages about their payroll budget, and I still believe it could land in the $110 million range when all is said and done.

We're getting indications that the Twins still hope to re-sign Cuddyer or Kubel, and Matt Capps remains the favorite to land the closing job. Also, there are continued indications that Kevin Slowey will be traded or non-tendered rather than paid about $2.8 million through arbitration. So the Twins could retain Cuddyer-or-Kubel and Capps and still land close to the $100 million mark.

But how much more will they spend? Will they add other relievers or a starting pitcher? I wouldn't expect much.

As I wrote in today's bullpen analysis, Brian Duensing likely is heading back to a relief role, so yes, the Twins will need a fifth starter. They'll search for bargains on the free agent market -- Chris Capuano and Rich Harden are among the names to watch -- and open a competition for in-house starting candidates including Anthony Swarzak, Liam Hendriks, Scott Diamond and Matt Maloney.

Of course, Ryan might have a trade up his sleeve, too, so the roster can certainly change. But with the winter meetings starting next Monday, let's remind ourselves how it looks right now. If nothing else, It's interesting to see how the lineup could look with Jamey Carroll and Ryan Doumit in the fold.

Note: the new CBA raises the major league minimum salary to $480,000. To simply things, all players below with between 0-3 years of big league experience are listed at $520,000, as some will fall slightly above that mark and others will fall slightly below. We've also done arbitration estimates for Alexi Casilla, Francisco Liriano and the others, indicated below with an asterisk.


1. CF -- Denard Span: $3,000,000
2. SS -- Jamey Carroll: $2,750,000
3. C -- Joe Mauer: $23,000,000
4. 1B -- Justin Morneau: $15,000,000
5. 3B -- Danny Valencia: $520,000
6. DH -- Ryan Doumit: $3,000,000
7. RF -- Trevor Plouffe/Rene Tosoni: $520,000
8. 2B -- Alexi Casilla: *$1,500,000
9. LF -- Ben Revere: $520,000
Total (9 starters): $49,810,000


1. RH -- Carl Pavano: $8,500,000
2. RH -- Scott Baker: $6,500,000
3. LH -- Francisco Liriano: *$5,800,000
4. RH -- Nick Blackburn: $4,750,000
5. RH -- Kevin Slowey: *$2,800,000
Total (5 starters): $28,350,000


LH -- Glen Perkins: *$1,700,000
LH -- Brian Duensing: $520,000
RH -- Alex Burnett: $520,000
RH -- Lester Oliveros: $520,000
LH -- Jose Mijares: *$700,000
RH -- Esmerling Vasquez: $520,000
RH -- Jeff Gray: $520,000
Total (7 relievers): $5,000,000


SS -- Tsuyoshi Nishioka: $3,000,000
OF -- Plouffe/Tosoni: $520,000
INF -- Luke Hughes: $520,000
C -- Drew Butera: $520,000
Total (4 bench players): $4,560,000

25-MANĀ ESTIMATE: $87,720,000


With 2011 salaries

RF/1B -- Michael Cuddyer: $10,500,000
OF/DH -- Jason Kubel: $5,025,000
RH -- Matt Capps: $7,150,000

Each would make about $520,000

1B -- Chris Parmelee
OF -- Joe Benson
INF -- Brian Dozier
*C -- Chris Herrmann
RHP Anthony Swarzak
LHP Scott Diamond
RHP Liam Hendriks
LHP Matt Maloney
RHP Kyle Waldrop
RHP Jeff Manship
RHP Jim Hoey
RHP Carlos Gutierrez
*RHP Jason Bulger
*LHP Phil Dumatrait

* -- Non-roster player

Older Post

Christensen: 2012 draft, a rising catching prospect, Doumit and La Velle

Newer Post

Blue Jays claim Hoey from the Twins