Pushing 90: A new Twins payroll glance

Posted on December 8th, 2009 – 9:57 AM
By Joe Christensen

When Carl Pavano accepted the Twins’ salary arbitration offer Monday, it pushed the team’s 2010 projected Opening Day payroll close to $90 million, based on salary estimates for those players currently in the fold.

Last year’s Opening Day payroll (for the 25-man active roster) was about $65 million, and there have been indications the payroll could reach $90 million as the team enters Target Field. Twins officials are careful not to mention specifics when discussing the payroll budget, so it’s unclear if the team is willing to exceed $90 million as it continues addressing the roster.

It’s important to keep this perspective when discussing the team’s various free agent and trade pursuits, so here’s an updated look at the team’s roster and salary estimates. Again, this isn’t my suggested Opening Day roster, but more of a depth chart. I’m not sure exactly how much Pavano will command through arbitration, but my best guesstimate is $7 million.

Another fun part of this exercise: Deciding the 1-5 spots in the starting rotation. Should Pavano or Scott Baker get the ball on Opening Day? And, as La Velle noted in his coverage from the winter meetings, what becomes of Glen Perkins, and how about that battle for the fifth spot in the rotation?

LINEUP
1. CF — Denard Span: $450,000 (estimate based on his 0-3 years service time)
2. SS — J.J. Hardy: $6,000,000 (arbitration estimate)
3. C — Joe Mauer: $12,500,000
4. 1B — Justin Morneau: $15,000,000
5. DH — Jason Kubel: $4,100,000
6. RF — Michael Cuddyer: $9,417,000
7. LF — Delmon Young: $2,000,000 (arb. estimate)
8. 3B — Brendan Harris: $1,000,000 (arb. estimate)
9. 2B — Nick Punto: $4,000,000
—————————————————-
Total (9 starters): $54,467,000

BENCH
C — Jose Morales: $410,000 (0-3 estimate)
INF — Matt Tolbert: $415,000 (0-3 estimate)
INF — Alexi Casilla: $440,000 (0-3 estimate)
OF — Jason Pridie: $400,000 (0-3 estimate)
C — Drew Butera: $400,000 (0-3 estimate)
———————————————
Total (5 bench players): $2,065,000

ROTATION
1. Scott Baker: $3,000,000
2. Carl Pavano: $7,000,000 (arb. estimate)
3: Nick Blackburn: $450,000 (0-3 estimate)
4. Kevin Slowey: $450,000 (0-3 estimate)
5. Francisco Liriano: $1,000,000 (arb. estimate)
———————————————
Total (5 starters): $11,900,000

BULLPEN
Joe Nathan: $11,250,000
Jon Rauch: $2,900,000
Matt Guerrier: $3,000,000 (arb. estimate)
Jose Mijares: $420,000 (0-3 estimate)
Jesse Crain: $3,000,000 (arb. estimate)
Pat Neshek: $800,000 (arb. estimate)
——————————————
Total: (6 relievers): $21,370,000

Projected 25-man total: $89,802,000

40-MAN ROSTER DEPTH
(Starting pitchers)
LH — Brian Duensing: $410,000 (0-3 estimate)
LH — Glen Perkins: $460,000 (0-3 estimate)
RH — Anthony Swarzak: $410,000 (0-3 estimate)
RH — Jeff Manship: $410,000 (0-3 estimate)
RH — Deolis Guerra: $400,000 (0-3 estimate)

(Relievers)
RH — Boof Bonser: $800,000 (arb. estimate)
RH — Bobby Keppel: $410,000 (0-3 estimate)
RH — Rob Delaney: $400,000 (0-3 estimate)
RH — Anthony Slama: $400,000 (0-3 estimate)
RH — Alex Burnett: $400,000 (0-3 estimate)
RH — Loek Van Mil: $400,000 (0-3 estimate)

(Position players)
C — Wilson Ramos: $400,000 (0-3 estimate)
INF — Luke Hughes: $400,000 (0-3 estimate)
INF — Trevor Plouffe: $400,000 (0-3 estimate)
INF — Estarlin De Los Santos: $400,000 (0-3 estimate)
INF — Steven Tolleson: $400,000 (0-3 estimate)

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