Thursday, January 24, 2008

Friday Replies

The last two posts I wrote generated a lot of good comments. I'd encourage you to go and read them, because I, frankly think that the readers that I'm honored to host are some of the sharper cookies in Twins Territory. I've already replied to some at each of these posts, but I rarely can keep up with them day to day.

So tonight I rechecked my story about the Twins Payroll Shortfall, and started writing an enormous reply to some good points. And then I thought, what the hell am I doing. Nobody is going to read this reply. It's from four days ago. Even the people who raised the point aren't going to back and read them.

So, of coures, I kept writing. But instead of posting them there, I'm going to post them for my Friday morning entry. That way they'll be read, and instead of dissecting the latest rankings of Twins minor leaguers, I can spend some time with The Voice of Reason. Because while I like you sharp cookies, I'm not sleeping with you tonight.

Jimcrikket suggested that it's not Opening Day yet and they couldn't spend that money because they needed the payroll flexibility.

JC, let's assume they did sign Santana to the widely rumore $140 million, 7 year deal, starting at $17M and increasing $1M per year after. What's more, let's assume they sign Cuddyer to deals that give them a million or so more each than they otherwise might have got, just as a gesture of good will.

We're still talking about a grand increase of $7 million, or a level that is less than their payroll of last year.

Now, if they don't sign Santana, they might need to sign Corey Patterson or Kenny Lofton, but even then, we're still not reaching the $78 million that the Twins talked about at the end of last season, and certainly not the level that would reflect MLB's overall growth and the impact of the new stadium.

Shannono suggests that there's no use spending the money if there's nothing to spend it on.

Shannon, I agree, but there was plenty to spend the money on. What's more, there was plenty to spend the money on at precisely the position that the Twins are now sweating the most, center field.

If they're worried about long term contracts, why not go after Andruw Jones, who signed for two years? If they're looking to stay young, how about Aaron Rowand, the 30-year-old defensive CF who is getting $60 million over the next five years? Or if they wanted to get a little crazy, there was Kosuke Fukudome whose last name was MADE to play in the new ballpark.

Or, there was Torii Hunter, and the Twins could've structured a contract for him like Rowand received. They could have paid Hunter five years and $80 million (12/13/14/15/16), part of which was a $10 million signing bonus from that leftover money this year. The team would actually be paying Hunter less in payroll dollars over the last two years than they did this year.

The bottom line is there is almost always a good way to spend that money.

JHaraldson cynically suggests that Pohlad wanted money back for the land overruns.

JH, that's the kind of cynical view I usually don't espouse. But I'm flabbergasted, and frankly, that's as good an explanation as any. It sure would be nice if someone would ask the Twins point blank about this. Hell, I'll write the question...

Q: Last year, Opening Day payroll was about $73 million, and by the end of the year the Twins talked about increasing it to $78 million or so. Instead, the current Opening Day payroll will be about $63 million and if Santana is traded, it will fall to almost $50 million.

As a resident of Hennepin County, I'd like to ask - what happened?


Anonymous said...

Ok please let me continue the running commentary... While I did not list a FA which I would be all that excited to dump money on, be fair I did suggest that we should have looked into CF Josh Hamilton in a trade with Krivsky and "Twins part deux" over in Ohio.

To think that the Twins would negotiate with a Boras client like Andruw Jones that is simply looking for a bounce back contract from his worst performance does not suggest a solution for CF, rather forstalling Hunter's replacement that much longer.

Rowand certainly was an option but, has the same knock on him that ultimately Hunter as well as Erstad have. They play so hard that they are bound to break down over the life of the contract.

In the end Terry left Bill holding the bag on this one, which is too bad but perhaps Terry understood that he had missed his opportunities with his top free agents and decided to let someone else have a crack on the next go around.

Thanks again for your continued writings and perhaps I'll see you at Twinsfest on Sunday.


CDW said...

Have you forwarded your quetion to Lavelle E. Neal's blog? Of course your intelligent question would have to make it through his mountain of trash comments, but maybe if it comes from the illustrious Twins Geek, it might have a shot of being asked.

John said...

Hey Shannon,

I agree with you on Josh Hamilton. I probably should have said that.

I have a theory on that, btw. My theory is that why the Twins were asking the Yankees for Hughes and Kennedy. They thought they could keep Hughes and move Kennedy to Krivsky for Hamilton. But Krivsky couldn't wait around, and he got the offer from Texas, and took it.

And no, I have no evidence of this whatsover.

Anonymous said...

I apologize in advance for using your comments section for this, but I am wondering if anyone would be interested in a Twinsgeek fantasy league? All this talk about baseball & the new extensions have gotten me into a baseball frame of mind.

Sorry for hijacking your site, feel free to remove this as you wish.

Shannon Kocon


Anonymous said...

As a resident of Hennepin County, I'd like to ask - what happened?

Lots of people who don't live in Hennepin County will be paying the sales tax for the stadium. Anyone who buys a taxable item in Hennepin County pays sales tax. Probably everyone who attends a Twins game will pay.

And what happened? The Twins signed Cuddyer and Morneau to long term contracts. But nothing has happened in terms of revenue from the new stadium.

You can demand they take money from your kids future if you want, but real adults pay as they go. I guarantee you every dollar that is spent in the next two years will have to be paid back once the new stadium is actually producing some revenue.

I'm tired of people whining like immmature kids who want to open their Christmas presents before Christmas. And I suspect we can expect it will be the same crowd complaining once the stadium is open that the Twins aren't spending enough. That they just opened a new stadium and their revenue went up.

The Taxi said...

"Kosuke Fukudome whose last name was MADE to play in the new ballpark."

TG, that was priceless.

neckrolls said...

$8.75 million in signing bonuses for Morneau and Cuddyer - that brings the Santana-included payroll up to about $72 million.

Getting warmer...