Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Too Much for Two Men?

This past Friday the Twins announced the signings of Justin Morneau (6 yrs, $80 million) and Michael Cuddyer (3 yrs, $24 million) with the hope it would appease the Minnesota Twins fandom. It appears to have worked. Whether or not the signing were good ones and how they affect the Johan Santana situation are, as always, very well reviewed by Aaron Gleeman.

My reaction to the deals, as usual, was spot on with Aaron's, at least objectively speaking. I sense that Morneau will be special, and that the money he got won't be overkill, but I'm taking a risk with that assessment. Cuddyer I know was flat-out overpaid. He had two more years of arbitration, from which he would have "only" totaled around $12-$13 million. He is white, though, lest we forget.

I'm only sort of kidding...he's average, he's now hit the backside of his peak age, and he plays a position a normal team should have plenty of options at...I can't figure out why the Twins wouldn't go year to year with him. My only guess is that he's a typical Twin and the typical Minnesotan can identify with his race, his decent work ethic, his laid back, no-waves manner, and his staying out of trouble. Boy Next Door get $24 million...stay tuned.

Oh, and did anyone notice that the Twins spent $8.75 million of this year's payroll in bonuses for these two guys? I had wondered whether the money that seemed available was going toward paying a new 3B or CF, and it obviously could have been used for that purpose. It now appears now we can be pretty assured the names Monroe, Pridie, Lamb, Harris, and Punto will cover those two positions and 2B, barring a CF returning in any Santana deal.


Anonymous said...

Actually think Cuddyer might be underpaid, with the out-of-control status of arbitration salaries these days for regulars. He might be overpaid come the free-agent season of 2011, but at least its an option for the Twins to take or pass.

The Morneau signing, as long as he's healthy, is pretty reasonable -- what with the up front monies and such. Considering the Twins are very weak in the system for a cheaper replacement, they would have to go to the slush pile in the future if they needed a first baseman.

It's good they are using the budgeted salary savings of this year on the future. Don't see them spending for a different third baseman...hopes that Lamb will hold the position down more than adequately for a couple of seasons, with Harris providing ample backup when a second base candidate materializes.

It seems like a lot of money. But with Mauer, and then Delmon Young, getting substantial contracts in the near future, the Twins should be pretty set, as I don't really see any of the current crop of pitchers (Liriano excepted) needing anything longterm because of cheaper replacements in the wings.

twinstalker said...

I respectfully disagree that Cuddyer would be receiving $24 million over the next three seasons. He's an average player, and while he could have made $5.5 this year and $7.5 next year because of the horrible arbitration process, I'm pretty sure no one was going to pay Cuddyer $11 in 2010.

We'll see, I guess.

twinstalker said...

Oops, I said we'll see. I was thinking about similar players with 4 and 5 years service time, and perhaps that I will follow the deals made to see how close I am to right with the numbers.