"2. Get out from under the last half of Nathan's large contract (two years, $22.5 million) by trading him. The Cubs might take him."Even though Nathan has become a fan favorite in Minnesota, his huge contract is a burden. The Twins only have a $60-$70 million dollar payroll annually and $11.25 million of that (roughly 17%) is committed to a closer. Sure Nathan is a dominant closer, but is it smart for the small market Twins to have that much of their payroll? Probably not.
However, we have to remember that the Twins will be moving into Target Field next season, which they hope will increase revenue. There has even been talk that the Twins will increase their payroll significantly:
"The team payroll could jump to between $90 million and $100 million in 2010 from $65.2 million on opening day this year. "It's all tied to revenue," team President Dave St. Peter said."If that's the case, then the incentive to trade Nathan declines rapidly. If the team's payroll does increase as planned, then Nathan's salary will take up between 10-12% of the team's payroll, which is much more manageable. With the extra $25-$35 million to spend, the Twins can address their various weaknesses and hopefully re-sign Joe Mauer to a long term contract that will keep him in Minnesota for the foreseeable future.
Moving forward, having Joe Nathan as the closer is one of the Twins' strengths. Because of their new revenue stream, the Twins should not be forced to trade Nathan in an effort to address various weaknesses on the team or cut payroll.
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