I just ran across this article about the Yankees that might be surprising to most Twins fans. During the off-season especially there was quite a bit of moaning and groaning from fans and bloggers about the Twins lowering payroll for 2012. Now we see that the biggest spenders of all intend to lower their payroll by more $20 million over the next few years. That is so they can be at the threshold for the luxury tax instead of above it. Almost certainly at $189 million, their target, they will still be at or near the top of baseball payrolls.
What impact will this have on the Twins? Probably not much as the Twins ownership and front office seem to set their own goals independent of what other teams spend. The current $100 million payroll is likely to be the norm for the Twins the next couple of years unless they are in a position to win and decide to go for a final key piece or two at the summer trade deadline. In 2013 when Morneau’s current salary comes off the books, the Twins may even take the opportunity to reduce payroll again, depending on how the young players develop.
As I have said before, I don’t think the payroll level is any guarantee for success when it is high and/or failure when it is low, but the idea that even the Yankees are going to look at limiting payroll increases is definitely worth watching the next few years.