New Deal with Bally Sports North Unlikely to Increase Twins’ Offseason Spending

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The Minnesota Twins have a new deal lined up with Diamond Sports Group that is expected to keep their games on Bally Sports North for one more season. Under the newly minted one-year partnership, which is expected to be signed off on by a bankruptcy judge on Friday, the same exact broadcasting terms as recent seasons are expected to apply.

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That’s bad news for cord-cutting fans in the local TV market, who were all but promised they’d finally have a direct-to-consumer viewing option to watch the Twins play in 2024. But they aren’t the only ones who are sure to be disappointed by these most recent developments.

When Minnesota Twins president of baseball operations Derek Falvey first went public with the organizations plans to cut payroll for the 2024 season, he pointed to the salary scale-back as a direct effect to all the uncertainty surrounding $65 million in revenue that was in jeopardy, after their TV deal with Bally Sports North (Diamond Sports Group) ended and wasn’t renewed, following the 2023 season.

So sure, it’s no surprise that the streaming generation of Twins fans are taking the weekend’s news hard. But this new deal is expected to cover up to 85% of the $65 million the Pohlads were so worried about losing, at least. That must mean the Twins are going to spend at least a large portion of the $25 to $30 million they cut out of the player payroll right?

New deal with Diamond Sports Group (Bally) won’t lead to more Minnesota Twins spending

MLB: Wildcard-Toronto Blue Jays at Minnesota Twins
Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY SportsCredit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Blake Snell anyone? Jordan Montgomery? Well… not so fast, says Darren Wolfson (KSTP, SKOR North). Joe Pohlad apparently gave a strict edict at the VERY beginning of the offseason that the Twins were planning to cut $25 million in player salaries, whether they figured the TV situation out or not.

Judd: ‘Do we think the stability of [the Twins knowing what they are going to get for TV money help ease self-imposed salary ceilings] or does it not help because [those were going to be cut no matter what]?’

Wolfson: “Yeah, the latter. I mean, my understanding is Joe Pohlad, it was an edict very very early in the offseason, like early November, even before the GM meetings. That, ‘hey payroll is going to be cut pretty significantly’.”

“It would be nice, right? I mean the idea is, after you win a playoff series for the first time in forever… like now’s the time to spend, you know, retain Sonny Gray or go get Blake Snell or Jordan Montgomery right? I mean we’d love it right? But it just… it was never the cards.”

Bad look for Minnesota Twins organization trying to rebuild trust in fanbase

This is sad to hear, even if it’s unsurprising. Hopefully, the Pohlad ownership group surprises the baseball world and realizes that this is the wrong time to be cutting back player salaries. That they have a golden opportunity to assert their dominance in the AL Central, if they’d just be willing to spend what they did in 2023.

Any other season, following one of the best in recent franchise history, we’d all be demanding the Twins spend more, in order to take advantage of an open window at a World Series run. Instead, they’ve successfully lowered expectations to the point where we’d all be excited just to find out they were keeping player payroll at the same level as last year

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But… it appears that’s even too much to ask. As of now, it appears the whole TV money excuse was exactly what many expected it to be from the beginning. Just an excuse… to be cheap.

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