SBD/January 19, 2011/Franchises

Twins Likely To Set Franchise Record For Payroll This Season

Twins' payroll likely to exceed $115M after signing players such as Liriano
After "topping out around $101 million last season, a franchise high," Twins GM Bill Smith is "well on his way to shattering that mark with the most expensive team in Twins history with a payroll likely to tip" $115M, according to John Shipley of the ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS. The Twins currently have 15 players "under contract worth a guaranteed" $89.9M, leaving "10 players to fill out an active roster by the team's season opener." Unsigned players include LF Delmon Young and P Francisco Liriano, "both of whom will command substantial raises" on the $2.6M and $1.6M, respectively, they made last season. Young, Liriano and P Kevin Slowey all filed for arbitration Friday, and Shipley notes even if the sides "meet at the midpoint," signing the three players "would add about" $12M to the payroll. Shipley: "Add $10 million to re-sign free agent Carl Pavano, and that's around $112 million, with six players still needed for the active roster." Smith acknowledged that he has a "target budget." But he added, "It's all a function of revenue. Sometimes it's a moving target; revenues increase, revenues decrease. We're pretty well extended. We're still looking around, still trying to find a fit for us." Shipley writes if the Twins are "in the race at the trade deadline, Target Field could again give them the wherewithal to find postseason help" (ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS, 1/19).

:'s Kelly Thesier reports the Twins will unveil a statue in honor of former RF Tony Oliva "outside Gate 6 on Opening Day." Oliva's statue "will join the three statues that are all currently in place" at Target Field -- Baseball HOFers Harmon Killebrew, Kirby Puckett and Rod Carew (, 1/19).
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