Twins owner Jim Pohlad says there's "no ceiling" on payroll, yet it keeps going down anyway

Jim Pohlad (left) has high expectations for this year's team. He's just about the only one.
Jim Pohlad (left) has high expectations for this year's team. He's just about the only one.

The 2013 campaign is the Twins' fourth in Target Field. Unfortunately, new digs didn't usher in a golden age from the team -- on the contrary, after winning the division championship in 2010, the on-field product has deteriorated to the point where you'd have a hard time finding a baseball pundit who isn't picking the Twins to finish last this year.

SEE ALSO: Twins payroll: Why in Gardy's name is it being slashed?

Coinciding with the Twins' on-field decline has been a decline in the team's payroll. In 2011, it stood at about $115 million. That number was slashed to $100 last season, and then again slashed significantly this year all the way down to about $81 million.

That's still more than the roughly $65 million the Twins spent on players during the team's last season in the Metrodome, but still -- how can fans expect the team to return to competitiveness anytime soon when ownership seems increasingly reluctant to spend money?

Despite the three-years-running payroll decline, owner Jim Pohlad recently told the Pioneer Press's Charley Walters that there "is no limit on it."

"There is no floor or no ceiling," Pohlad added. Yet during an offseason that featured a solid crop of free agent pitchers, the Twins opted to try to rebuild the starting rotation that was so dreadful last year by shopping in the bargain bin with the uninspiring signings of Kevin Correia, Mike Pelfrey, and Rich Harden.

Though he seems unwilling to put his money where his mouth is, Pohlad insists this season isn't a rebuilding year.

"We want to go to the playoffs. We definitely have the talent." But they'd have even more if they weren't paying $35 million less for players than they did two seasons ago.

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