Twins’ Payroll Now Primed for Big Free Agency Splash

Photo: Star Tribune

Now that the dust has settled on the Major League Baseball non-tender deadline, the Minnesota Twins payroll sits at around $85 million (according to this Google Doc roster tool you have to try) for 2021. Letting Eddie Rosario, Trevor May, and Sergio Romo walk off to free agency, saved around $22-$25 million.

In 2020, the opening day payroll was around $140 million so hopefully this offseason is just getting started. Personally, I believe the Twins are going to end up with another payroll around $130-$140 million for next season. Others think there could be a 10%-ish reduction, which would bring it down to $125 million.

When last asked, Pohlad himself said that the losses accrued in 2020 don’t necessarily equate to the Twins taking a step back spending-wise in 2021.

Let’s mess with some numbers

If the budget is in the range of $130M-$140M, then the Minnesota Twins have enough money to sign one of the big-money starting pitchers still on the market.

Let’s say Falvey and Levine get Cruz back for $15 million and a couple relievers for $5 million each. You can take your pick between him and Rooker but I’m going to throw Kirilloff in left field. There, our starting lineup is done and we haven’t even hit $110 million yet.

I’m not saying the Twins will end up with Trevor Bauer (though I expect them to make a push), but there are pitchers in the next tier who the Twins can definitely afford and will likely be in contact with. In fact, I’ve targeted four starting pitchers that I would love to see them chase.

Starting PitcherEst. Cost
Masahiro Tanaka$18 million
James Paxton$16 million
Jake Odorizzi$12 million
Blake Snell (via trade)$11.1 million
Projected salaries via

Okay, Blake Snell is more of a dream scenario, but the Twins have the resources to make it work. This free agency class isn’t very good for a team like the Twins, whose holes are mostly in the pitching department.

Nelson Cruz matters to this conversation… but doesn’t.

If Cruz leaves then things get interesting on offense too, but his departure wouldn’t hurt Pohlad’s pocket. Filling the DH spot with someone other than Boomstick would most likely save them money. He’s the most expensive DH on the market. The new one wouldn’t be as good as Cruz either (most likely), but that’s for another blog.

Adding a guy like Tanaka or Paxton would still leave plenty of room to fill out what would be a really good roster. The question is… will the Twins do it?

See for yourself. Fill out the Minnesota Twins roster how you see fit, HERE.

Cooper Carlson | Minnesota Sports Fan