Reduced Minnesota Twins Payroll May Be Here to Stay

Carlos Correa, Minnesota Twins
Benny Sieu-USA TODAY SportsCredit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

Minnesota Twins fans moaned and groaned all offseason about heading into the 2024 season with a shrunken payroll after the franchise’s first playoff win since 2004. It almost seemed unfathomable how a team could be coming off one of their best seasons as of late and still cut costs heading into the next year.

But this is the Twins we’re talking about. You know, the “cheap Pohlads”? This isn’t exactly a new thing. And with this player payroll thing, the raw numbers don’t lie. The Twins had a $159 million payroll in 2023, and now they’ve dropped down to $129 million, all in a matter of months.

The struggle to lock in a long-term local TV rights deal has obviously not helped and whatever TV money they do find, in the near future, is unlikely to reach near the $55 million they’ve been getting from Diamond Sports (Bally) for years.

Aaron Gleeman ‘extremely pessimistic’ about Minnesota Twins’ payroll going forward

Minnesota Twins
Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY SportsCredit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Unfortunately, that’s why it appears this step back in player payroll is much more than a one-year dip to “reset the books”. According to The Athletic’s Aaron Gleeman, the Minnesota Twins’ are unlikely to return to anything near their previous levels of spending ($159M in 2023).

In fact, Gleeman doesn’t even expect them to reach the $140M they spent on player salaries in 2022. If you want to make a more accurate projection for where player payroll will be, think more $129M, like where they are now.

I’m extremely pessimistic about the likelihood of next year’s Twins payroll returning to 2023 ($159 million) or perhaps even 2022 ($140 million) levels.

There’s very little chance of the Twins securing a new local television deal and/or streaming arrangement worth anywhere close to the $55 million per season they made under their old long-term contract with Diamond Sports.

Beyond that, ownership claiming to have lost substantial money in recent years even while being paid $55 million per season for their local TV rights suggests dropping the payroll to $129 million could be the new normal.”

Minnesota Twins insider Aaron Gleeman on shrinking payroll (The Athletic)

Related: Minnesota Twins Pitching Prospect Moves into MLB Top 100

Gleeman closes with a statement that admits he hopes to be proven wrong, but he remains “extraordinarily skeptical” about the Twins payroll increasing next season. But not just next season. It sounds like this is “the new normal”

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