What the heck was Eddie Rosario thinking after failing his first test and then doing whatever he did to fail a second test? The Office of the Commissioner of Baseball announced yesterday that Minnesota Twins Minor League second baseman Eddie Rosario has received a 50-game suspension without pay after a second positive test for a drug of abuse in violation of the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. Rosario is one of the Twins top prospects and has a bright future in baseball and he does something like this just before possible making his major league debut with Minnesota in 2014? I know that youngsters make mistakes and I sure hope that this one wakes Rosario up and gets him thinking straight again.”It’s disappointing, but now he has to pay the consequences and be accountable,” Twins general manager Terry Ryan said. “Losing 50 games, that’s a huge setback. That’s a lot of development time, a lot of learning that he’ll miss. It sets back his progression [toward] going up to the big leagues. But young people make mistakes, and hopefully he learns from it.”
What the Minnesota Twins TV contract pays them and what is the length of the contract? According to recent reports the Philadelphia Phillies’ new deal with Comcast SportsNet is for 25 years, and the contract is worth $2.5 billion in addition to an equity stake and ad revenue. The rights fee will be paid out on a schedule that increases about 3 to 4% per year, averaging out to $100MM per season over the 25-year term. An average of $100MM per season? That is a good start on your annual payroll.
Lucrative television contracts for Major League Baseball teams are not new. The New York Yankees signed a 12-year, $486 million deal with the Madison Square Garden Network in 1988, a deal that propelled them to an improved financial situation. While teams were trying to improve finances through the“stadium boom”of the 199s and early 2000s, the Yankees were again striking gold with television money. They formed their own network in 2002, and immediately began reaping the benefits. The Yankees received an estimated $85 million per year from YES beginning with the 2013 season, a figure that could pay off 41 percent of their projected payroll of $207 million before selling a single ticket, hot dog or jersey. Prior to the 2010 season, the Texas Rangers signed a deal with Fox Sports Southwest worth $80 million per year. The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim raised the bar for television contracts in December of 2011 when they reached a $3 billion, 20-year deal with Fox Sports. None, however, can come close to the level of the deal struck between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Fox Sports late in 202. The deal will pay out an unprecedented $6-$7 billion over the next 25 years. That translates to $240-$280 million in revenue per year. But not all teams are on the same pay scale, the St. Louis Cardinals for example are stuck with a deal that pays out a paltry $14 million per year and does not expire until 2017. A number of small-market teams are locked into similar deals for under $20 million per year including the Florida Marlins ($18 million per year) and Pittsburgh Pirates ($18 million) that will certainly affect budgets for re-signing players and making bids on free agents.
If GM Terry Ryan is done tinkering with the Twins line-up. This off-season Ryan has stated repeatedly that the Twins needed starting pitching but that the Twins offense also needs help. Only the Houston Astros and Chicago White Sox scored fewer runs in the AL then the Twins sad total of 614. The Red Sox led the AL in runs scored with 853, that is a difference of 239 runs or 1.48 runs per game when compared to the Twins. I sure hope that Ryan doesn’t think that bringing back Jason Kubel on a minor league make good deal solves that problem. At this time the Twins payroll sits around $70 million with 3 arbitration eligible players in Brian Duensing, Trevor Plouffe and Anthony Swarzak that will probably get a total of $7 million or $8 million between them. After that most of the rest of the roster will not get much above league minimum so my guess is that the Twins will start the 2014 season with a payroll of about $85-$88 million, a jump of about $10-$13 million from the 2013 open day payroll. I was hoping for better coming off three miserable seasons in a row. I know that money does not buy you a pennant or happiness for that matter but I also know that you get what you pay for in the long run.
Why does 2B Brian Dozier get so little respect. Numerous fantasy baseball prognosticators have Dozier rated as one of MLB worst second baseman, rating him in the bottom 33% in all of baseball. I know he only hit .244 but he hit 18 home runs, scored 72 times, knocked in 66 runs and stole 16 bases. I know that fantasy baseball does not take defense into consideration and Dozier did pretty well with his glove but those are some pretty decent numbers for a middle infielder in spite of the low average. The Twins don’t seem to be doing anything to promote Dozier as an up and coming player either and you often hear that Rosario is the 2B of the future. Sometimes we just don’t appreciate what we have and keep thinking that the grass is greener on the other side of the fence. I say that Dozier will be better than you think and will become a leader on this Twins team that has no face to it.
Why shortstop Stephen Drew is still unsigned on the free agent market. I would love to see the Twins open their wallet and sign the 30-year-old Drew to a three-year deal for say $25 million. That is not cheap but I don’t see any shortstops in the Twins minor league system that are ready for the big leagues either.
What the date will be when Trevor Plouffe becomes Miguel Sano‘s caddie. Although I think that Miguel Sano will start the season in AAA Rochester, I see him in Minnesota as the Twins stating 3B before Memorial Day. I for one can’t wait to see Sano in Minnesota and Plouffe on the bench or with another team.
Just a few thoughts on a cold winter day in Minnesota when the high temperature today will stay below zero and the high temperature for tomorrow is predicted to be a -15 degrees. Holy Cow! I can’t wait to get down to Ft. Myers and catch some spring training action.