Now that the Twins have signed most of their picks from last month’s draft, it’s easier to recognize their financial strategy.
By saving money at the top and bottom of the bonus pool recommended by the league, the Twins were able to sign some players who had the leverage of possibly going to college.
They paid $6.725 million to their first pick, prep shortstop Royce Lewis. That was below the $7.7 million that was assigned for that pick. Their second-round pick, prep righthander Landon Leach, signed for $1.4 million — more than $400,000 below the value assigned for that pick.
The Twins used the savings to overpay players selected in the third, fifth, sixth and seventh rounds. For instance, third-round pick Blayne Enlow, a prep righthander, signed for $2 million when the value for his pick was $755,400.
The Twins then went the safe, or smart, route in the eighth, ninth and 10th rounds, signing each of those players for $10,000 each — saving another $430,000 — and using the savings for earlier picks as well.
The Twins were assigned a bonus pool of roughly $14.1 million for the first 10 rounds of the draft. Any team that spends more than the assigned pool will be taxed on the overage. So far, the Twins have spent all but about $66,000 of what they were assigned.
“We can still use the $66,000 on players after the 10th [round], and we remain in the process of exploring that,” Chief Baseball Officer Derek Falvey said. “We left a little unused intentionally to give us that potential flexibility.”
It’s an approach many teams have used. Keeping track of the money spent while negotiations are fluid can be challenging.
“I’m a little neurotic about making sure we don’t make mistakes on the math so we had two different people during the draft enter all of the bonus agreements we came to and had them independently relay what was left over to us,” Falvey said. “Then we could plan out each of the remaining picks.”
The deadline for signing draft picks is Friday. The Twins still have three unsigned players from the first 20 rounds: 11th-rounder Gabe Rodriguez, a prep outfielder from Puerto Rico; 16th-rounder Cade Smith, a prep outfielder from British Columbia; and 20th-rounder Tyler Gray, a righthander from Central Arkansas. They don’t expect to sign all three.
Dozier gets another day
Brian Dozier sent manager Paul Molitor a text message Tuesday morning to let him know he could play.
“But he decided to give me another day,” said Dozier, who missed Monday’s game because of a sore back.
Dozier was available off the bench Tuesday and will likely be in the lineup Wednesday when the Twins wrap up a three-game series with the Angels.
Dozier had started 75 of 82 games in the leadoff spot before Tuesday.
“I thought about it, talked to him a bit,” Molitor said. “You guys have heard me say it before, I don’t feel the need to rush him back out there.”
Molitor has had players talk their way into the lineup despite some injuries. Dozier played despite a sore left ankle for a couple of weeks after injuring it May 5 during a game against the Red Sox. He sat out for three games before re-entering the lineup but was not 100 percent. He couldn’t put much pressure on his left ankle as he batted.
So Dozier has a history with managing injuries, but Molitor still opted to be cautious this time.
“Guys play a little bit banged up, and I agree with you on the ankle thing,” Molitor said. “It hurt him a little bit offensively for a while, not having a stable front side. That’s part of the game of figuring out how to still compete and contribute when things aren’t 100 percent.”