We’ve heard the narrative over and over, the Twins are a small-market baseball team and they are too cheap to spend money. Consistently, fans point out numbers and dollar figures suggesting why the Twins shortcomings continue to happen. In 2015, the organization has raised the bar and taken aim right at those complaints.
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Thanks to our friends over at Twinkie Town, we now have a perfectly clear idea of how the Twins have gone about spending to the tune of a $105 million payroll. The mark is set as the Twins second highest payroll ever, coming just behind the $113 million spent on the 2011 roster.
For the Twins, despite the criticism they received, the road to get here was perfectly traveled. Baseball is not a sport that one or two players make the difference between making a bad team a good one. There is no big three that can turn around a franchise; change instead happens through multiple moving pieces coming together and in unison, that is what the Twins are now seeing.
Had Minnesota went and spent on a player like Masahiro Tanaka a season ago, their rotation would have been significantly better. However, they would have used a seasons worth of money and part of a contract on a player that in the end, did little in the grand scheme of the team’s direction. In 2015, the Twins expect to see Byron Buxton, Miguel Sano, Alex Meyer, and probably even Eddie Rosario all surface at the major league level. With that much expected talent from within, the time to supplement externally became immediate.
The splash didn’t have to be monumental, and it wasn’t. Minnesota improved the rotation by bringing in Ervin Santana and in extending Phil Hughes. They added a bat (despite hurting their defense) in bringing back Torii Hunter. Combining those players with the promotion from within, the payroll splurge makes sense.
Next season, as the Twins will look to significantly entrench the youth into their every day plans, the Twins should be expected to spend once again. Considering how this offseason went, they likely will.
So while it is understandable for a fan base to be frustrated with losing, spending to get through it is not the answer. Instead of putting a band-aid on a gash, the Twins have started to stitch up the past and move forward into the future.
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