Twins halt rising payroll trend

Posted on December 28th, 2007 – 11:33 AM
By Joe Christensen

Johan__Franchise__Mauer.jpgAfter allowing their payroll to reach $74 million last season, the Twins could enter 2008 with a payroll of less than $50 million if they trade Johan Santana, as expected, for a package of young, inexpensive players.

The Twins need a center fielder, but they would likely fill that void with a Santana trade. They’ve discussed Boston’s Jacoby Ellsbury and the Yankees’ Melky Cabrera. Neither will make more than $1 million next year.

The Twins let their payroll reach a franchise-record $74 million last season before dumping Luis Castillo, Jeff Cirillo and Ramon Ortiz to save about $3.5 million.

The team’s payroll increased every year from 2000 (when it was $15.7 million) to 2007 (when it finished at $70.5 million). Based on that trend, I wrote in September that the Twins could let their payroll reach about $77 million to $80 million for 2008.

But the team has gone the other direction. Here is an updated look at the payroll after the losses of Torii Hunter and Carlos Silva to free agency, along with the team’s latest additions:

Players under contract (11)

Player   2008 Salary
Jesse Crain   $1,050,000
Adam Everett   $2,800,000
Mike Lamb   $3,500,000
Joe Mauer   $6,250,000
Craig Monroe   $3,820,000
Joe Nathan   $6,000,000
Nick Punto   $2,400,000
Mike Redmond   $950,000
Dennys Reyes   $1,000,000
Johan Santana   $13,250,000
Delmon Young   $700,000
Subtotal   $41,720,000

Players under control (8)
Those with 0-3 years of major league service time. Average salary estimated at $410,000 per player.

Player   2008 Salary
Scott Baker   $410,000
Boof Bonser   $410,000
Alexi Casilla   $410,000
Brendan Harris   $410,000
Francisco Liriano   $410,000
Pat Neshek   $410,000
Glen Perkins   $410,000
Kevin Slowey   $410,000
Subtotal   $3,280,000

Arbitration eligible (5)

Player   2007 salary   2008 projected
Michael Cuddyer   $3,575,000   $5,200,000
Justin Morneau   $4,500,000   $7,500,000
Juan Rincon   $2,000,000   $2,200,000
Matt Guerrier   $407,500   $1,000,000
Jason Kubel   $387,500   $1,200,000
Subtotal   $10,870,000   $17,100,000

That’s 24 players who figure to make the team’s Opening Day 25-man roster. Add it all up, and here’s what you get:

Under contract   $41,720,000
Under control   $3,280,000
Arbitration estimate   $17,100,000
Total (24 players)   $62,100,000
Total (without Santana)   $48,850,000

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