For as long as any Twins fan can remember, you have heard the notion that the Minnesota Twins are a small market ball club and that spending big on free agents isn’t their typical practice. Those around Twins Territory have bashed the club for not spending and for employing low payrolls. Now, Terry Ryan and the Twins are making most eat those words, and doing so in the most sensible way possible.
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First and foremost, an understanding in regards to baseball as a whole must be made. Money and salaries mean virtually nothing in the sport. With no salary cap, the amount that someone is paid is only relative to those around them and for comparison sake. Money and contracts do not hamstring teams, front offices and decision makers do. An infinite amount of dollars can be allocated if a team so chooses, those who win in the sport do so through sensible signings and when the time is right.
Now enter the Twins. A few months ago I wrote you were wrong about Terry Ryan, you still are. A few days ago I wrote Terry Ryan shouldn’t survive his potential decisions, he still shouldn’t. Here is the crossroads the Twins have arrived at. With the farm system stocked full of talent, the top tier is near major league ready. The turnaround can be drastic, it should be, and it needs to be (see the Chicago Cubs).
As Minnesotans clamor for the likes of Byron Buxton and Miguel Sano to make their much anticipated Target Field debuts, the winning will take place in a full circle effort. Last season the Twins signed Ricky Nolasco to a four-year $49 million contract. Despite his poor season in 2014, Nolasco should still be a quality starter for the Twins in 2015. As the Winter Meetings come to a close, the Twins are hot on the trail of Ervin Santana. Reports are that a four-year $50 million contract is what the sides are looking to agree on. Without even considering Phil Hughes‘ three-year $24 million bargain of a contract, the Twins will have spent over $100 million on two solid starters in the last two years.
Baseball is different from many other sports. As fans watch LeBron James team up with two other stars in hopes of more easily winning a title in every city he goes to, baseball onlookers want the same style of super teams to happen. The sport doesn’t work that way. The reason that the San Francisco Giants have won three out of the last five World Series is because the 25th man on their roster is better than the 25th man on the other teams roster.
Terry Ryan has built an impressive farm system. The Twins have gone through their rebuild, and though they aren’t their yet, the tipping point is coming. Spending to supplement the young and upcoming talent is what will have Minnesota contending for the AL Central division title to come. Inking Santana would be a great start, the promotion of the major league ready prospects would be great follow through.
Ryan and the Twins have reached the crossroads, they have stared the payroll backlash in the face, they have stuck to the course, now it’s time to competently execute and make it all come together.
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