Here is another classic edition of: What did the internet completely blow out of proportion, misinterpret, or paraphrase today?
With negative temperatures for the next week, baseball couldn’t feel further away. However, with pitchers and catchers reporting in a couple weeks, baseball will be back before we know it. Nothing says baseball like -15 degrees!
Anyway, the Minnesota Twins have been in national news this past week for an unusual reason…. And no it is not because they released an alternate home jersey with gold trim.
Two of baseball’s biggest stars, Manny Machado and Bryce Harper, are still on the free agent market. Both players are looking for a long term, potentially $300+ million deals and have been patiently waiting for the right situation to come along.
ESPN Baseball Analyst Buster Olney has been caught in a whirlwind due to a simple side remark. When discussing where these two players might end up, he was going through teams who haven’t spent a lot of money this year yet. The Twins were brought up as having room to add a player financially.
This has somehow turned into internet headlines and “click-bait” articles saying that “The Minnesota Twins are a dark-horse team to land Machado and Harper.” What is sad is that there are people who: 1. Don’t have any idea the context with which Olney mentioned the Twins and 2. Actually believe the Twins would be willing to spend money on a star player.
For context, baseball has no salary cap. Teams can spend as much as they deem fit on their roster. That is why teams like the Yankees and Dodgers (who spend $200+ million) are frequently seen at the top of the standings while teams like the Rays and Marlins (who spend less than $50 million) are usually at the bottom.
Now, spending is partially dependent on income. Nobody would argue that the Twins should spend like the Yankees or Dodgers because Minnesota doesn’t pull in the same kind of revenue numbers.
However, a general rule for the MLB is to spend 50% of the organizations revenue on payroll. Since 2012, the Twins have been under this 50% benchmark every single season. In this 7 year span, Minnesota has fallen short of that benchmark by a total of $87.5 million.
This has been consistent for virtually the entirety of the Twins existence. They weren’t even willing to resign World Series MVP and Minnesota native Jack Morris after the 1991 World Series because they didn’t want to spend money on both him and Kirby Puckett.
The Minnesota Twins have never in their history shown the ability to pay for talent with the exception of Joe Mauer (which they were forced to do because fans would’ve rioted/disowned the team had they not signed him). This is the way the Twins have been run and will always be run.
The Twins are not a mystery; we know exactly what they are and what they always will be.