Joe Pohlad Confirms Twins are Still Cutting Payroll and Have No Interest in Big Name Free Agents

PHOTO: BRACE HEMMELGARN - MINNESOTA TWINS 2022

The Minnesota Twins opened the 2024 offseason by announcing their plans to cut payroll by over $20 million. They pointed to the unknowns surrounding future TV revenue, after their contract with Bally Sports North came to term following the 2023 season, even though they’ve known this was coming for years.

Related: Twins TV Deal Official; Sides Move to Hide Terms of New Contract from Fans

Last week, they went crawling back to Diamond Sports Group, even signing on for another year without a direct to consumer streaming option, something they promised to fans they wouldn’t do. After signing their new deal with Bally’s, you’d think the Pohlads would feel bad about their inability to come through, yet again, for fans.

Joe Pohlad confirms Minnesota Twins still plan to cut payroll

minnesota twins spring training joe pohlad
Amanda Inscore/The News-Press USA Today Network-Florida / USA TODAY NETWORKCredit: Amanda Inscore/The News-Press USA Today Network-Florida / USA TODAY NETWORK

It had already been reported that the Twins were still planning to move forward with their payroll cutting plans, even after inking the new deal with Diamond Sports Group (Bally). But if you were hoping (like me) that those were just offseason smoke screens, you’ll be sorely disappointed (yet again) to hear/read what Joe Pohlad said to Jason DeRusha (WCCO Radio) on Tuesday.

In summary, you can drop any hope that the Minnesota Twins will make themselves a welcoming emergency landing spot for any of Scott Boras’ remaining superstar free agents.

DeRusha: ‘If a Carlos Correa level free agent was interested in signing with the Twins, is there flexibility to pull the trigger on a big money player?’

Pohlad: “Uhh… no…. no. The reason I say no is because we’re going to live pretty much where we are at right now. But what I will say about some flexibility is, you know, when Derek [Falvey] and his team think there is the right opportunity in front of us, we don’t live hard and fast by a specific number. That said, we’re not going to go out and spend $30 million on a player right now. So the players that are out there right now that, probably, a bunch of fans are talking about, we’re not in the market for those players.”

Joe Pohlad – Twins Executive Vice President (WCCO Radio)

Twins can be just like Tampa Bay Rays and… Baltimore Orioles?

Joe pointed to the mid or small market teams in the AL East that find their way into contention, like the Tampa Bay Rays and Baltimore Orioles. While the last decade of Rays baseball and Billy Bean’s Athletics are always championed by those who love smaller payrolls in smaller markets, trying to be like the Orioles is a new one. Baltimore made the playoffs last season for the first time since 2016.

“In today’s game, there are a number of different ways to win. You see that both with the Tampa Bay Rays, with the Baltimore Orioles having lower payrolls and turning out very successful products on the field, but also investing in other areas of the business. That is just something that we are doing. But without a question, the television situation is having an impact on our business. But beyond that we’re just trying to right-size our business. That’s playing into it as well.”

Joe Pohlad – Twins Executive Vice President (WCCO Radio)

You’d like to believe that letting down those same people whose passion has flipped their cute little sports investment from 20 years ago into a billion dollar side hustle would matter to them, especially after they finally gave us one good season, following 20 years of misery.

Related: Twins’ Royce Lewis is a Dark Horse AL MVP Candidate

One option would have been to back off of their ridiculous plan to cut player salaries. Like, ‘Hey, we’re sorry we screwed that streaming thing up again. How about if we sign Blake Snell/Jordan Montgomery/Cody Bellinger for one year to make up for it?’ But, of course, that’s not going to happen.

And let’s not just make this about pleasing fans, even though that should be much more at the forefront of Joe Pohlad’s mind, but it would seemingly make a lot of business sense too.

When you own an investment that has skyrocketing in value at a rate that few other large assets have over the last decade, it would make sense to pile more money back into it, right? Especially in sports, where winning games can heavily affect your popularity and bottom line…? But what do I know, I’m just a dumb Minnesota sports fan, right?

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