also available at www.SethSpeaks.net –
So many thoughts run through my mind as I think more about the firing of Bill Smith, Terry Ryan returning to the GM role, Mike Radcliff and Wayne Krivsky and their potential roles, and how it all will work together to put together a team for 2012 and beyond. Clearly something happened. Clearly whatever philosophical differences there were between Smith and the management came to a head last week sometime. (Clearly those are the only things that are clear in my mind. That’s it! There are so many question marks.)
There was an excitement among Twins fans when the news broke. There was no confidence in Bill Smith’s ability to make things better. There is a supreme confidence among Twins fans in Terry Ryan. And there is additional confidence in Mike Radcliff and Wayne Krivsky.
However, it was the final question of the press conference that was able to nullify fan enthusiasm. When asked what the payroll for 2012 would be, Ryan said, “Around $100 Million.”
That number became the focal point. Now, is it possible that Ryan just threw a number out there? Of course, it’s not typical for the Twins to give a number like that. However, if $100 million is the number, many fans will be upset. That’s $13 million less than last year. $13 million is one really good pitcher. It’s most of a Michael Cuddyer contract. It could be two really good players.
Now, I’m definitely not one to say that winning is totally about payroll. Terry Ryan and the Twins proved that last decade. The Rays prove that. However, it certainly makes it more difficult, more challenging. A huge part of the challenge is that $37 million is committed to Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau, two guys that it’s hard to know what you will get from next year.
What it tells me is that the Twins are about to go through a rebuild of sorts. Obviously if you bring in some talent below market value, you can still compete and maybe even win. To do so, the Twins will have to be completely healthy and a lot of guys will have to have huge years. Is that realistic?
I think that if they believe that the Twins won’t be able to win in 2012, then it only makes sense to clean up the organization, to rebuild. If rebuilding is the plan, then Terry Ryan, Mike Radcliff, Wayne Krivsky, et al, are the right way to go. What does that mean? Lots of trades? Pavano? Liriano? Baker? Span?
But I don’t know what the philosophy for the offseason is, or what this decision means. I’m just speculating, and until we see a couple of moves, we won’t know.
$100 million is going to be tough, controversial, to many. It also is probably the right thing if your plan is to contend in 2013. Feel free to comment.