Sunday, June 17, 2007

Room for Improvement

Two of the biggest questions Terry Ryan repeatedly is asked is whether the Twins can add a new bat and whether they can keep Torii Hunter next year. As is so often the case with the Twins, the answers to both of those questions rely a lot on the finances of the team, and whether they can fit under the Twins budget, so I thought it might be a good time to do a little back of the napkin figuring. Here's where the Twins are likely at:

The Twins payroll this year is around $70 million, a $10 million increase over last years. If you assume another $10 million increase next year, the Twins could have about $22 million to spend on players, including Torii Hunter. If you assume $15 million per year for Hunter (which is tragically, probably low), that leaves $7.5 million for the rest of the improvements the Twins might want to make.

It also means that the Twins can trade for a pretty decent player, even if he has a significant contract next year - but not so significant as to cost them $10 million or so. We'll keep this in mind as we look at possible trade targets.


Cattlefeeder said...

Where do you get all of these huge napkins? I'd think we'd have moved on to the tablecloth by now.

BTW, I always look forward to these figurings. It's good information to have, and very few people take the time to summarize it like you do.

Cattlefeeder said...

My personal feeling is that, as painful as it will be, Torii and the Twins will part ways. I'm not saying he's not worth $15M in the current market, but I also don't believe he'll match this year's numbers again.

This just seems like the stage of the career where Ryan has let a lot of players move on. It's too bad there's no obvious replacement at this point, however.

haasertime said...

I think its not so much the money about torii, its the years. some dumb team will give him a 5,6 or 7 year deal for at least 15per. Players pine for security more than anything.

Also, when does insurance kick in? Do they have to be out for a whole year? I'm just wondering about Crain's (relatively) fresh fat contract.

Pcentrist said...

Great analysis as usual, but with the Twins possibly getting a short-term windfall of $50 million per season in the first few years of their new stadium, it's possible the Twins could sign Morneau, Santana and Cuddyer to extensions and back-load the contracts .. giving them even more flexibility in the short term.

The bottom line is that this isn't a small revenue team even with Pohlad's budget constraints. Not signing Santana or trading for a bat can't be blamed on a small market any longer.

Anonymous said...

Correct me if I'm wrong, but Mauer isn't going into arbitration. The Twins signed him to a 4-year deal this spring.

John said...

Oops. your right. I had it right on my master sheet but messed it up when I transferred it.

Good point on Crain's contract, too.

walter hanson said...

Twins Geek I think you made another mistake. If I understand your chart right Serfdorm means a player who isn't eligible for arbritration and will have their salaries set by the team. No offense, but didn't Michael Cuddeyer settle his contract outside the arbritration room before his hearing.

He should be listed as second year arbritration and worth millions more. Of course he gets his value in part because he bats behind Mauer and in front of Justin M. He's the player teams will pitch to. Won't that raise his value by millions more and throw off the math?

What do you think?

Walter Hanson
Minneapolis, MN

Christopher said...

A couple points.

1. Not sure you can count on a $10mm increase each year.

2. Even if you try and resign Hunter (which is a longshot in my mind) you are then taking money away from a contract you can give the others (Cuddyer, Morneau, Santana) who all will need long term deals sooner than later.

I am guessing you can use Hunter's money to sign both Santana and either Morneau or Cuddyer and hopefully any bump in budget can be used for the final one.