Thursday, June 21, 2007

Crunching the Numbers

"You can't sign a 32-year-old player -- no matter how popular and productive -- for a deal like that when Justin Morneau, 27, and Michael Cuddyer, 28, will need big-dollar, multiyear contracts in the next couple of years."

Hmmm. I wonder if that's true about Torii Hunter. And while we're at it, let's throw Johan Santana and Joe Nathan in the mix, too. Oh hell, let's take a look at all the Twins and what the payroll situation looks like through 2010, the year the ballpark opens. We'll assume the payroll bumps up $10M over the next three year to coincide with a $100M payroll for 2010. Let's see exactly what Terry Ryan can keep, shall we?

We covered 2008 a couple of days ago, but to review, it looks like this:

The Twins have about $22M to spend next year on a CF, DH/LF, and maybe a 2B (or probably a veteran pitcher, sigh). That leaves plenty of money for re-signing Hunter if they don't look too far ahead.

Let's move onto 2009.

Things are quite a bit tighter in 2009. Ryan will be sitting with $40 million to spend and three big names to re-sign, and the numbers don't add up. Hunter will be $15 million, Santana will be $20 million and Nathan will likely be at least $9 million. And, of course, they still need someone to fill that DH/LF spot and the 3B spot. (BTW, a long term deal for Cuddyer or Morneau will help a little, but not much. Subtracting a million dollars or two will be about the max they'll save based on past deals).

Given the success the Twins have had picking up bullpen help, I suspect Nathan is the odd man out. I further suspect that the Twins won't bite on the length of the deal Santana will demand from other teams. That's probably not news anyone wants to hear, but it would free up about $20 million for some other players. Let's see what happens the next year...

Christ, things are murky at this point. You may have notice that Kubel drops off the chart even though he's not a free agent. I'm hoping by then he's hitting enough to keep, but I haven't seen enough to conclude he'll be around.

Anyway, things have become considerably tighter. There's $43 million, just $3 million more than the year before, except now Cuddyer is a free agent, too. Even if Nathan is gone, that leaves just $8M for Cuddyer, which is likely a couple million less than he deserves. Especially considering they have another half dozen player they're going to need to pay, in some shape or form.

(As I look at the numbers again, I wonder if a couple million couldn't be shaved here or there, a skill that the Twins have never been especially good at, but they have been good at finding backup in their minor leagues.)

But it looks like Reusse is right. Some choices are going to need to be made. I personally doubt whether that necessarily leads to losing Hunter, since Santana could be the most highly anticipated free agent to hit the market since Alex Rodriguez. But the Twins will have some decisions to make. AND they need to have their minor leagues continue to produce some offense if they want to stay competetive.


Pcentrist said...

They can backload contracts past 2010 because of the shot-term boost they'll get with a new stadium (which the Twins have estimated at like $40 mil a year). The honeymoon money could be used before the stadium debuts ... giving TR more options to sign a lot of these guys to long-term contracts. That's one factor your missing in the calculations.

Also, if the Twins don't sign Hunter, they're going to have to trade or sign for a free agent because I don't see an outfielder in the system who could hold an everyday job until at least 2009 (Span can't hit).

Pcentrist said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
walter hanson said...

Twins Geek I hate to ask this again, but wasn't Cuddyer for arbritration this year (I thought their one year deal was worked out the day of the hearing) that means Cuddyer's money esclates faster than your calculations.

Walter Hanson
Minneapolis, MN

Anonymous said...

i love the blog twinsgeek.... im from knoxville, tn and love the smaller market twins. i was just curious as to why you think cuddyer deserves 8 mil a year? he's solid, but i think that they could put that money to better use. i dont know if he would be considered in a trade before his contract goes up either..

walter hanson said...

the reason why I want to clarify Cuddyer's arbritration status is that an arbritrater can easily rule more money than what the chart rules. The Twins might have to release him just because they don't think they can afford him (remember a player by the name of David who met this requirement). Cuddyer at ten million is probably under priced just because he hits over 20 homers, drives in over 100 runs and plays great defense (especially in a stadium where right field has a problem - the baggie to deal with)

Walter hanson
Minneapolis, MN

John said...

The Cuddyer Question:

I'm a little disgusted with myself for mis quoting this stuff. Grrrr.....

Cuddyre was a Super 2, meaning he made 1.3M in 2006. Then he made 3.575M this year which I'm calling as '1st year of arbitration'. Next year I ssuspect he'll make close to 6.5, which I got right, though the tag is wrong. And finally, I think he'll make $9.5 in 2009, which I just totally missed. And so thing get even tighter.

But will he make more than $8M in 2010? Well, probably. But that's when the market value takes effect, and I can see him being a 8/9/10/11/12 guy over five years. That might be low given the escalation in salaries, but tha't my best guess on where he would be right now.

RegularJoe said...

Walter - I like Cuddyer, but I'm still not convinced that he'd be a 100 RBI guy if he wasn't batting between the batting champ and the league MVP.