What is the status of the Minnesota Twins payroll currently?
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The Minnesota Twins’ payroll will increase from 2015 to 2016. The Twins’ final payroll total in 2015 was $108,262,500 and their payroll commitments already this offseason are at roughly $109 million. The team has said that there’s still shopping to be done. Even if the team were to stop spending now, they’d still have to set aside money for injuries. The Twins have a shot a besting 2011’s total of $115 million. If they do, that would be their highest payroll total ever.
The Twins’ ~$108 million payroll in 2015 ranked them 20th in the league. With an encouraging end to the season, that ranking may improve somewhat in 2016 but the Twins will still be a mid-market team. As much as fans would like ownership to spend like the Dodgers, it’s not going to happen. Even if the Twins were to spend that much, there would still be complaints it wasn’t enough. Every team’s fans would like the team to be able to spend more—Yankees and Dodgers included. That’s not to say whether or not the Twins’ owners are penny-pinchers Scrooges, it’s just the way things are. Recent years have shown that mid-market teams can be just as successful as the big spenders. The Royals are an obvious example.
The Twins have 9 players signed to guaranteed contracts. They are Joe Mauer, Phil Hughes, Ervin Santana, Ricky Nolasco, Glen Perkins, Brian Dozier, Byung-Ho Park and Kurt Suzuki. Collectively, that group will make $76.55 million in 2016. Most teams have player or team options to decide on but the Twins didn’t have any players in those situations.
The Twins have 6 players who are arbitration eligible. They are Kevin Jepsen, Trevor Plouffe, Eduardo Escobar, Eduardo Nunez, Casey Fien and Tommy Milone. This is where the payroll guess work starts. Luckily MLBTR provides arbitration estimates. That group is estimated to make 23.7 million dollars in the arbitration process.
The Twins can fill the other 12 roster spots with pre-arbitration players or players on minor league deals. Almost all pre-arbitration players make roughly $500K (the minimum). If the team fills all 12 spots with pre-arb players, that would cost 6 million. Baseball-Reference estimates the cost of filling the 12 spots at $9.51 million. That figure when added to the arbitration and guaranteed contracts totals $109 million.
Joe Mauer will once again be the team’s highest paid player a 23 million. The highest arbitration sum is projected to go to Trevor Plouffe at 7.7 million. We will continue to keep you updated on the payroll situation as the offseason progresses.