It wasn’t too long ago that the arbitration agreements and filings that happened in the last week wouldn’t have gained more than a couple of inches or space. Now it generates a story on Friday (Kubel), another story on Saturday (Morneau & Rincon), along with a nice little graphic showing just how things are going with each player.
The only thing we haven’t seen from the Strib is just how all the pieces of this fit together, and frankly, I’m baffled by this. Where the hell are the stories about payroll falling $10 to $20 million in the same year that major league baseball revenue increase 10% AND the team breaks ground on a new stadium? How is nobody noticing this? Are Magatu and I taking crazy pills?
For the record, given the recent signings, and the awards so far, here’s where things sit:
The final total up there is a little over $63 million. That's $10 million less than the Twins started the season with last year, and if they lose Santana, the payroll drops to $50 million. That is conservatively $30 million less than the payroll should be this year. Which would certainly have been enough to sign someone like Andruw Jones to patrol center field for the next couple of years. Which sounds a hell of a lot better than plugging Michael Cuddyer there.
The good news is that this should give the Twins some additional flexibility for trading han Santana. There are teams out there that are worried about taking on Santana's salary, but now the Twins might be able to take on some serious salary in return. If the Mariners can't afford Santana this year, would they change their mind if the Twins took back Richie Sexson as part of the deal?
It's not something that has been publicly discussed, but I wonder if it might not make some sense. And I presume the Twins are having some creative discussions along those lines. Or at least I hope they are, because they certainly can afford to.