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At Baseball Daily Digest, I examine the shift in philosophy with the Minnesota Twins, who will move into a new stadium in April.
The 2010 Twins are a new breed in a new stadium. According to Cot’s Contracts, the team will enter the season with a payroll exceeding $93 million, $22 million more than their previous payroll high of $71 million in 2007. During the off-season, instead of settling for cheap home-grown talent, VP-slash-GM Bill Smith signed veterans Orlando Hudson and Jim Thome to one-year deals, traded young center fielder Carlos Gomez to the Milwaukee Brewers for seasoned shortstop J.J. Hardy, and avoided arbitration with eight players.
These new acquisitions signal a continued focus on offense, a theme that has only been in vogue in the Twin Cities recently. From 2001-07 the team was league average or worse offensively but the recent emergence of Joe Mauer, Michael Cuddyer, and Jason Kubel along with the steady production of Justin Morneau has allowed the Twins to slug their way to a win.