Blog Entry

Twins may not be able to afford Thome and Pavano

Posted on: January 3, 2011 10:26 am
Edited on: January 3, 2011 11:45 am
Carl Pavano Many of us have assumed Carl Pavano and Jim Thome would return to the Twins, but as of today, both are still free agents.

While Pavano was obviously waiting out Cliff Lee, Lee's been in Philly for some time now and Thome has seen lesser hitters (Lance Berkman, Derrek Lee) sign for big money while waiting for the Twins to make their move. According to La Velle E. Neal III of the Star Tribune, the Twins might not be able to afford both Pavano and Thome.

Last season, the two were bargains. Thome made $1.7 million and had 25 homers in the homer-averse Target Field. Pavano made $7 million last season, but earned that in today's market, going 17-11 with a 3.75 ERA.

The formerly small-market Twins have 11 players under contract at $78.725 million and then have six arbitration cases. The Star Tribune estimates those six players could raise payroll to "roughly $98 million" for 17 players. Even at league-minimum, the rest of the roster -- not including Thome or Pavano -- would easily push the payroll above $100 million. That crunch is why the team wasn't able to keep relievers Matt Guerrier and Jesse Crain.

Pavano and Thome have stated they enjoyed playing in Minneapolis and would like to return, but this offseason seems to be putting a dollar amount on just how much that enjoyment of playing for the Twins is worth, and it may not be a small price.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Since: Jan 3, 2010
Posted on: January 5, 2011 9:20 pm

Twins may not be able to afford Thome and Pavano

The Twins are very likely shopping one of their extra outfielders.  Do not forgot they also have Repko, Revere and others in the minors.  Apparently they have not been offered anything to their liking yet.  The Twins also want to re-sign both Thome and Pavano but likely cannot because of fiscal constraints.  MLB is a business first and the owners have a right to make a decent rate of return which for the Twins requires about roughly half of the revenue go to players' salaries.  However, with revenue greatly increased they have a little more wiggle room as their fixed costs remain fixed and become a smaller percentage of revenue so they can increase the variable cost (players' salaries more than 50%) and still earn the same rate of return.

Since: Nov 14, 2009
Posted on: January 4, 2011 3:11 pm

Twins may not be able to afford Thome and Pavano

Beware of Pavano...he took 3 years off while on the Yankee roster and was paid $30 million.  While I believed Thome was beyond his time, he has a better track record of consistency and effort than Pavano. Anyone who goes beyond 2 years with Pavano is foolish. If they do they will probably give a long term contract to Chan Ho Park.

Since: Jul 12, 2009
Posted on: January 3, 2011 8:39 pm

Twins may not be able to afford Thome and Pavano

You are right String, I don't know if Pavano can repeat what he did last year.  The Twins don't have a team that is good enough to win the World Series, but they should contend for the AL Central, and they have other young arms that they could put in the place of Pavano.  And they also have enough bats in the lineup to take Thome's place.  For example they are going to put Duensing in the rotation this year, and he could replace Pavano.  Thome is good against righties, but horrible against lefties, so he isn't an everyday player and he takes up a DH spot that would be better suited for resting some Twins players.  Since Morneau is back, and Valencia has locked down third base that means that we have 4 OF that are legit starters (Span, Kubel, Cuddyer, Delmon).  Since their are only 3 OF spots obviously they should let Thome go elsewhere and let that OF that if left out DH.

Since: Mar 18, 2009
Posted on: January 3, 2011 8:10 pm

Twins may not be able to afford Thome and Pavano

There's a fine line between being cheap and being smart.  I don't know that I would want to be able to afford Pavano and Thome, despite what each of them did last year.  Pavano had, arguably, his best season since 2004, and Thome cracked a game-winner or three, but I think I would rather err on the side of caution and spend those dollars elsewhere.  Maybe a Twins fan can enlighten me as to what I am missing here, if anything.

Since: Aug 7, 2008
Posted on: January 3, 2011 7:36 pm

Twins may not be able to afford Thome and Pavano

The Twins have the money to get both players, but ownership is too cheap to build a bonafide contender. They are content with spending the least amount of money to be competitive. But being competitive does not guarantee that they will make it deep into the playoffs.

Since: Jan 3, 2010
Posted on: January 3, 2011 6:06 pm

Twins may not be able to afford Thome and Pavano

Sid is usually wrong when opinions enter into play, so hopefully CBS is not using Sid as a reference.  The Twins have said many times that the goal is 50% of revenue.  With $250M in revenue, the total team salary would be about $125M.  However, the Twins have to pay in (for a change) in the revenue sharing plan.  The estimate is somewhere in the $15-$20M range.  That leaves the Twins team salary around $110M (which most likely means Pavano is going to a different team).  And hopefully he does because anything more than a two year agreement would be a bad move for the Twins. 

Since: Sep 23, 2009
Posted on: January 3, 2011 5:40 pm

Twins may not be able to afford Thome and Pavano

It would be great to have them both back + another starting pitcher (James Shields in Target Field?).  I'm not surprised that CSB sports uses Lavelle or Sid as resources- someone at CBS has to be a close personal friend of Sids.

Since: Feb 22, 2008
Posted on: January 3, 2011 3:59 pm

Twins may not be able to afford Thome and Pavano

I get a kick out of CBSSports and ESPN, and how their sources for their Minnesota teams stories is always the Star Tribune.  Can't they do their own work?  I guess Sid and the Star Tribune are all knowing and perfect in their reporting. 

Since: Aug 20, 2006
Posted on: January 3, 2011 3:20 pm

Twins may not be able to afford Thome and Pavano

Boo-hoo Pavano you thief!  He is not worth millions long term never has been & never will be.  As for Thome he`s a great team guy, but as a 40yr old DH only it automatically eliminated NL teams.  Some of the big spenders like the Red Sawx already have DH blocked up in Ortiz, and the best DH Vlad is still hoping to get paid.  Maybe the Twins luck and keep em both at a reasonable cost...what a crazy thought!  

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