The Twins really want to land a starting pitcher

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The Twins are making it a priority to land a significant starting pitcher this offseason, with Matt Garza, Ricky Nolasco, and Bronson Arroyo among the reported possibilities. And Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN hears that they are willing to go to great lengths in order to meet their goal.

We can safely assume that the Twins aren’t talking five years with Arroyo, so that probably leaves Garza or Nolasco. Garza may ultimately be the better fit on a long-term deal since he’s a year younger than Nolasco. And while he didn’t enjoy much success during his time in Texas, he also possesses more upside. Still, a lot of things can go wrong with pitchers and long-term deals.

It’s a little unusual to see the Twins being so aggressive in free agency, but they are determined to find an upgrade after their rotation was far and away the worst in the majors this past season with a 5.26 ERA. When Kevin Correia is your best starting pitcher, you have a problem.

The Royals are paying everyone. Why can’t all of the other teams?

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Over the past several weeks we’ve heard a lot of news about teams furloughing front office and scouting staff, leveling pay cuts for those who remain and, most recently, ceasing stipends to minor league players and releasing them en masse. The message being sent, intentionally or otherwise, is that baseball teams are feeling the pinch.

The Kansas City Royals, however, are a different story.

Jon Heyman reported this afternoon that the Royals are paying their minor leaguers through August 31, which is when the minor league season would’ve ended, and unlike so many other teams, they are not releasing players either. Jeff Passan, meanwhile, reports that the Royals will not lay any team employees off or furlough anyone. “Nearly 150 employees will not take pay cuts,” he says, though “higher-level employees will take tiered cuts.” Passan adds that the organization intends to restore the lost pay due to those higher-level employees in the future when revenue ramps back up, making them whole.

While baseball finances are murky at best and opaque in most instances, most people agree that the Royals are one of the lower-revenue franchises in the game. They are also near the bottom as far as franchise value goes. Finally, they have the newest ownership group in all of baseball, which means that the group almost certainly has a lot of debt and very little if any equity in the franchise. Any way you slice it, cashflow is likely tighter in Kansas City than almost anywhere else.

Yet the Royals are paying minor leaguers and front office employees while a great number of other teams are not. What’s their excuse?