Twins Arbitrary Thoughts

19 Jan

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There will be a new Weekly Minnesota Twins Podcast Tuesday night at 9:00 central time. I am finalizing a guest list, so be sure to check back to find out who will be on the show.

On Tuesday, the Minnesota Twins and all eight of their arbitration-eligible players will be in the news. The players and their agents will tell the Twins the amount of money they hope to make in 2010. The Twins will also tell the players (and the world) what value they would like to pay each player in 2010. Basically, this process lets the players and teams know what the other would like, and many times they come to an agreement right at the midpoint. However, if neither side is will to budge, they will go to an arbitrator in early February and will either make the amount the player wanted or the amount that the team was willing to pay, depending on a three person panel. The third option is that the two sides will agree to a multiple year contract.

In the following chart, you will see what the player’s base salary, and my predictions for what the Player will request, what the team will offer, and then the midpoint of the two. Of course, if you bought the TwinsCentric Offseason GM Handbook, you have probably already read plenty on this topic. What are your thoughts on the below? What will happen? Will any sign multi-year deals?


Player 2009 Salary Player Request Team Offer Mid-Point
Jesse Crain $ 1.7 M $ 2.6 M $ 1.8 M $ 2.2 M
Pat Neshek $ 0.44 M $0.85 M $ 0.55 M $ 0.7 M
Matt Guerrier $ 1.475 M $ 3.0 M $ 2.25 M $ 2.675 M
Francisco Liriano $ 0.43 M $ 1.5 M $ 0.75 M $ 1.05 M
Carl Pavano $ 1.5 M $ 8.25 M $ 6.75 M $ 7.5 M
JJ Hardy $ 4.65 M $ 6.5 M $ 5.5 M $ 6.0 M
Brendan Harris $ 0.4461 M $ 1.45 M $ 0.85 M $ 1.15 M
Delmon Young $ 1.152 M $ 3.0 M $ 2.1 M $ 2.55 M

Looking at this list, it’s hard to find a name that the team would want to sign for more than just the one year. In situations like Crain, Young and Liriano, you have to see which version will show up in 2010. Which JJ Hardy is the Twins getting?  What will Brendan Harris’s role be in 2010, much less beyond. Of course, therein lies the risk. In some cases, a multi-year contract might come at a lower dollar value than it will in a year if they do produce. The Twins will weigh that risk, but I can’t see any multi-year deals. I see a lot of mid-point deals being reached.

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18 Responses to “Twins Arbitrary Thoughts”

  1. Kunza January 19, 2010 at 7:29 am #

    Jesse Crain and Brendan Harris are truly dead money. If we moved those two players alone it would clear up around $3.5?? million – almost enough to sign Felipe Lopez.

    Way too much for those two players to received especially in this tight payroll we supposedly have.

    One thing Seth that I think the Twins are given a free pass on is the attendance issue. If the Twins top 3 million fans this year and for the next few years, that has to equate to spending more money. I personally think the Twins are getting off the hook a lot when it comes to the attendance-payroll issue because no one is talking about it.

    • Funkytown January 19, 2010 at 1:43 pm #

      Not only 3 million fans, but a full run of concession money now as well.

  2. Eric Olson January 19, 2010 at 7:47 am #

    I don’t know about Jesse Crain. Are we paying him too much? Almost certainly. If he is good this year like he was for stretches of last year is he worth it? Probably.

    As far as Harris goes, I agree. Between him and Tolbert, I don’t know which one I’d rather have (and not in a good way). Probably Tolbert, because he’s still in serfhood (serfdom?).

  3. gobbledygookguy January 19, 2010 at 10:53 am #

    with any of these arbitration guys they can still deal them or cut them prior to the season if they want to save money. i think it’s like 2 weeks before the season starts if they cut them they don’t owe them anything.
    is anyone really surprised they aren’t spending on free agents to this point? is smith showing mauer how much he’s trying to improve this team?

  4. thrylos98 January 19, 2010 at 1:25 pm #

    Hardy just signed for $5M. Also I think that the Pavano estimate is way too high based on his 2009 salary. I don’t see him making more that $5M base + some incentives.

  5. joelthing January 19, 2010 at 1:26 pm #

    Wow! $24 million.

    The Twins will have the most expensive bullpen in baseball, it seems. Guerrier at $3 million. Crain hitting at least $2 million. Big decision for the future…do the Twins keep the expensive Nathan or cut him loose for some talent. Guerrier or Crain stoppers of the future?

    Considering Harris MAY be the odd man out amongst Tolbert, Casilla, Punto. Whew! In many ways, would rather have Harris than Punto.

    So right that the Twins won’t do multi-year deals. They need to see the Hardy they would get. And Liriano. But could you do two years to Pavano (with trade hopes mid-season if you don’t need him).

    Always a gamble.

    What seems to be interesting in that players can make more, now, in arbitration than free agency, sometimes. Of course, if you offset that they are underpaid the first three years of their career (compared to the major league average).

    Six of the eight under-performed. One did his job. Another was injured. Yet ALL get raises. Substantial raises! I honestly think many of the six should get a 20% salary cut.

    Pays to have a wonderful union.

  6. Andy Darsow January 19, 2010 at 1:27 pm #

    Seth, is gobbledygookguy right on this? I don’t think that statement is accurate. They already had the deadline whether to offer them arbitration, they can’t cut them for no cost after that date. The only person I’d look at a multi-year deal for would be Guerrier. I’d try to sign him to a 2 year deal.

    • gobbledygookguy January 19, 2010 at 5:36 pm #

      if they go to arbitration and go with that number the team can cut them before the season starts with like 30 days pay. if they sign before arbitration the team is bound by the contract.
      it’s in the players best interest to sign because then his contract is guaranteed. the arbitration award is not. should have been clearer.

  7. Funkytown January 19, 2010 at 1:42 pm #

    JJ Hardy has apparently agreed to a 1 yr/FIVE mill deal, according to Strib.

    You were a bit off on that one 😉

  8. Seth January 19, 2010 at 2:17 pm #

    Andy, you’re right. The Twins offered these guys arbitration a few weeks ago, so they’re signing them.

    Harris, even if he makes $1.2 million is more than fair if he’s your starting 3B. I still think there is little chance that Casilla comes back, but if he does, then there is zero chance that Tolbert is with the big league club. Harris is a given.

    I also htink Crain gets his form back in 2010 and becomes the 8th inning guy he was previously.

    6 of the 8 underperformed??

    • Funkytown January 19, 2010 at 2:53 pm #

      Seth, I’d have to agree with you on Casilla. I really wonder if the Twins would put Tolbert on the caravan tour if they didn’t think he’d be with the team.

      Then again they did have Restovich on it a few years ago. And he would up getting cut for Corky Miller.

  9. Andy Darsow January 19, 2010 at 5:56 pm #

    Seth – I’ve asked tons of people this question and haven’t got an answer yet. How much did we pay Clay Condrey? Thanks! Andy

    • Doofus January 19, 2010 at 6:35 pm #

      I think we paid condrey 775k. Its definately under a mill.

  10. tree9546 January 19, 2010 at 7:11 pm #

    Suprised by how much Harris got and a 2 yr contract too. He is one guy that Gardy never has seem to like

  11. Pradesh January 19, 2010 at 10:26 pm #

    The interesting question is, would you trade Mauer straight up for this Gang of Eight (nearly a third of your regular season team)?

    If you had to spend to retain one or the other, which would be the better baseball decision?

    Since both Mauer and the Gang of Eight will likely cost out at just around/above $20 million a year.

    That is, can you afford to lose two or three starting position players, one and maybe two starting pitchers, and potentially half of your bullpen? Or your MVP catcher?

    Fortunately, all will be stayin I’m certain. But it’s still an interesting question.

  12. joelthing January 20, 2010 at 12:23 pm #

    Condrey was reportedly signed for $900,000.

    The Twins could still use some lefty backup…sure, they have Perkins, liriano and Duensing. But maybe a couple more real minor league guys would be nice.

    Looks like Harris is the next Nick Punto. An overpayed utility guy. Okay to have one, but not two.

    With their performances last year…would you give Liriano and Young a substantial raise? Why?

  13. TT January 20, 2010 at 7:00 pm #

    “With their performances last year…would you give Liriano and Young a substantial raise? Why?”

    The obvious answer is that players are underpaid before they reach arbitration, paid relatively equitably during arbitration and often overpaid once they are eligible for free agency.

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