As we all know, the 2012 Minnesota Twins are expected to spend about $110 to $120 million on payroll. This includes Joe Nathan's $2 million buyout, but he isn't going to leave the team. However the players that will be gone include Michael Cuddyer, Jason Kubel, Jose Mijares, and Matt Capps among the others. The total spend will be below, but there will be more than enough to sign a backup catcher to Rene Rivera if we need to do so. The reason for that is due to Justin Morneau's latest concussion issues. Lucky for us, Joe Mauer can move over to first fulltime. Here is how the rest of the 25 man roster breaks down:
Yes the Minnesota Twins have flunked out of the 2011 Race and have done so to the point that we have had long losing streaks and lost games in blowout fashion, the most famous being a game to the Texas Rangers where Michael Cuddyer becomes a pitcher and pitched in the bottom of the 8th inning of a massive blowout. Of course, we have had injuries galore to the point that our chief had to whip out his medical journal for research purposes. With that said, I am proud to present a modest look at the 2012 Twins Roster. I will explain after the jump.
For the most part, I am not done with departures yet. Our major trade this season will likely involve Carl Pavano. In this scenario, I am trading him to Colorado for Pitcher Huston Street. Also involved in the trade would be us sending Drew Butera to the Rockies for minor league outfielder Willy Taveras. This deal will have us picking up $1.5 million of Pavano's 2012 Salary and Street's $9 million option for 2013. The result is a good second or third starter for the Twins.
The other main addition to the Twins 2012 roster will be Yu Darvish from Japan. He is considered an ace pitcher in a hitters league and should thrive at Target Field. I can see the Twins bidding $25 million for posting rights (not included in payroll), and then signing him to a four year and $32 million deal worth $8 million per year. This isn't us shafting him because his current salary is worth almost $4 million USD. Finally, Francisco Liriano gets a raise to about $5 million with incentives including one where he is World Series MVP.
In the bullpen, the additions are Deolis Guerra and Kerry Wood who I will sign for a year at $4.5 million. As for Joe Nathan, I have him pegged for $3.5 million for 2012. Here is how I suspect the rotation and bullpen will shake out next year.
1. Yu Darvish
2. Huston Street
3. Scott Baker
4. Kevin Slowey
5. Francisco Liriano
Despite the bad news on Joe Mauer and the 2.5 months (roughly) that followed, we did have fun with the position because Minnesota catchers were hitting worse than all National League pitchers, and we got to enjoy some time with STEVE HOLM!!!!!!!!!!! Regardless, There will not be any real change unless Justin Morneau is forced to retire. Thus, Joe Mauer and Rene Rivera are your catchers for 2012 with Jair Fernandez waiting in the wings at Rochester.
This position is influx due to Justin Morneau's health, but there are some minor changes. For the most part, the Twins will likely lose the services of Michael Cuddyer. However the main infield addition would be Houston's Clint Barmes whom I sign via free agency with a 4 year, $60 million deal worth $15 million per year. Outside of Darvish, this would be my big spurge. He can play both short and second with him maybe trying first during spring training. I think this is likely close to the final contract that Michael Cuddyer could sign with the Twins and provide reasoning for Joe Nathan to accept the buyout and redo his contract.
Again, not much change since we are likely to see the likes of Trevor Plouffe and Rene Tosoni in our 2012 plans. However, we do need a reliable bat and my pick is Andrew Jones from the Yankees. The reason for this is because we need the DH now that we don't have Jim Thome (Thanks for your time in a Twins uniform, we loved it), and we can use some good defensive backup in the outfield. He would be signed to a $10 million contract over two years with $4 million in 2012 and an increase to $6 million the following year.
Opening Day Lineup and bench
1. Denard Span, CF
2. Trevor Plouffe, RF
3. Joe Mauer, C
4. Justin Morneau, 1B
5. Andrew Jones, DH
6. Danny Valencia, 3B
7. Clint Barmes, 2B
8. Alexi Casilla, SS
9. Rene Tosoni, LF
So how much did I spend on this roster? How about $116,190,000. This is right in line with what management expects to spend on the 2012 roster. I followed the guidelines on what to spend in which management wanted an ace and we have one in Yu Darvish. We also added Huston Street to the rotation which is the result of the Pavano trade, and we added Kerry Wood to help shore up our bullpen. In the lineup, we added both Andrew Jones and Clint Barmes. Barmes is our infield signing that will help shore up that part of lineup defensive wise while Jones adds a veteran presence in the outfield. Granted Rome wasn't built in a day much like a world champion isn't built in one offseason. Most Twins fans will recall that the core that won the 1987 World Series started appearing in Twins games in 1981 they needed a managerial change as Ray Miller was brought in to replace Billy Gardener and then Tom Kelly brought in to replace Ray Miller. Regardless, the changes made represent our best chance at competing in 2012. We might not win a world title, but this team would give us a better chance to at least compete with the AL East and West. What do you think? I would love to hear your comments below.