Conflict Of Interest Over Spending Between Minnesota Twins' Owner And GM

By Caroline Ponessa
Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Minnesota Twins‘ owner Jim Pohlad and general manager Terry Ryan are going to need to get on the same page pretty quickly here if they have any hopes of a successful 2014 season.

Corresponding with the Twins’ need for some fresh talent, it is no surprise that the discrepancy exists as a matter of spending.

In an interview with the Pioneer Press’ Charley Walters back on Sept. 12, Pohlad alluded to the need for the Twins to find future success by picking up talented free agents in the offseason: “We made a couple trades last year; I’m not sure that we can rely on that this year. So if we’re going to do something, it’s going to have to be that way (free agency).”

Ryan contradicted the Twins’ owner today as the Star Tribune’s Phil Miller quoted him as saying, “If we’re going to do anything here [to] succeed in the near and long-term, it’s probably not going to be in free agency.”

With rumors circulating of potential for a franchise high payroll between $90 million and $100 million for the 2014 season, it will be crucial for the Twins to spend it wisely.

Manager Ron Gardenhire has not outwardly said if he is in favor of sticking with Ryan’s plan of building from the minor leagues or with Pohlad’s desire to sign proven free agents. However, Gardy clearly sees the urgency for drastic improvements as he told Miller, “It’s hard to say it’s a better year when your record doesn’t indicate it. But we’ve seen some improvement in a few places, and we’ve used a lot of young people. But right now, it doesn’t feel [better].”

The question remains on how long the Twins can wait for Ryan’s prospects to burst onto the scene. Rushing talented players like Byron Buxton and Miguel Sano could prove disappointing and, with revenues dropping, fans aren’t likely to wait around until 2015 to see success.

The need for mass improvement is immediate — the Twins literally cannot afford to have another losing season in 2014. With so much cash sitting around following the removal of Justin Morneau and other high revenue players from the books, now is the time for the organization to follow Pohlad’s advice.

Spending money on players that can be instantly added to the starting roster is crucial for the Twins in 2014. Waiting for young players to develop into experienced starters could be detrimental and could cause the Twins to endure their fourth straight losing season.

Caroline Ponessa is a Minnesota Twins writer for Follow her on Twitter @RantCaroline

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